Framlingham: County says Taylor Wimpey must contribute more than £500k in education funding if Fairfield Road application is to be considered

A packed audience for the infrasturcture meeting at St Michael's Rooms, Framlingham

A packed audience for the infrasturcture meeting at St Michael's Rooms, Framlingham - Credit: Archant

Developers are to be told they must contribute more than half a million pounds towards education in an east Suffolk town if their housing proposals are to be considered viable.

Suffolk County Council has highlighted “significant challenges” posed by Taylor Wimpey’s 163-home Fairfield Road application in Framlingham, which it says must be mitigated by financial offers.

SCC’s development contributions manager Neil McManus has written to Suffolk Coastal District Council, requesting more time to discuss the issues raised by housing growth.

He cites education as being at the forefront of the council’s infrastructure requirements, highlighting the likelihood of primary school capacity being exceeded by the influx of new residents. The council estimates the new development would require places for at least 41 more primary pupils, 29 secondary students and a further seven sixth formers.

While Thomas Mills High School is deemed to have sufficient capacity, Robert Hitcham’s Primary School is said to require developer contributions of almost £500,000 to cope.

Mr McManus also highlights the school’s constrained location, which may require brand new facility to be built, costing around £4.35m. Further contributions are requested for pre-school provision (£97,456) libraries (£35,208) as well as other unspecified amounts towards transport, play space, drainage and more.

The demands follow a heated meeting in Framlingham last week, when around 200 people turned out to raise concerns about the impact of new housing - including the Fairfield Road application - on the town’s infrastructure. Councillors Christopher Hudson and Stephen Burroughes and the town’s MP Dan Poulter stressed the importance of developers paying their fair share in contributions to support the required infrastructure improvements.

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A spokesman for Taylor Wimpey said the scheme would deal fully with the infrastructure concerns.

“This proposal will also secure funding towards the local community, which will include contributions towards local schools, play space, libraries and other such contributions as are required to mitigate the impact of the increased population,” the spokesman added.

Sir Robert Hitcham’s Primary School has stressed that it is currently within its pupil capacity, though the impact of any new development would have to be considered