‘Have we reached peak Framlingham?’ – masterplan for 250 new homes prompts concerns for town’s ‘special’ qualities

Members of the Framlingham Residents' Association campaigned against plans for new homes in the town

Members of the Framlingham Residents' Association campaigned against plans for new homes in the town in 2015 - and fear more could be on the way. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A market town described as a “jewel in Suffolk’s crown” could face hundreds more new homes - prompting fears its unique character may be lost.

Landowners have created a “masterplan” for 250 homes in Framlingham – where more than 350 have been approved since 2014 – as part of a consultation seeking development sites for Suffolk Coastal’s “Local Plan”.

The Hinton family’s proposals comprise three phases for sites between Mount Pleasant and Saxtead Road, including homes and land for community use.

No planning application has been lodged and no decisions made. However, the detail of the plans, coupled with the many new homes already approved, has given rise to fears the town’s unique character could be lost and its infrastructure unable to cope.

Christopher Sharpe, chairman of Framlingham Residents’ Association (FRAm) said another consultation response proposed a further 50 homes in the town.

FRAm campaigned against the 163 homes in Fairfield Road and 95 in Mount Pleasant –and is concerned about the latest plans.

“Framlingham is one of the jewels in Suffolk’s crown but if we keep building more homes we will destroy what makes Framlingham special,” Mr Sharpe added.

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Christopher Hudson, one of Framlingham’s district councillors, said residents were concerned about the effect on infrastructure, which needed to be looked at “very closely”. “The question from people is ‘have we reached peak Fram?’” he added

Philip Summers, the agent for the masterplan, said while recent developments catered for current demand it was important to plan ahead to co-ordinate the timing of growth and provide a balance between housing, employment and infrastructure.

“Until the current allocations have been substantially taken-up, further large-scale housing supply is not required in Framlingham, however, it is important to have a masterplan in place so the town can respond as and when such need does arise,” he added.

Suffolk Coastal District Council said the consultation received hundreds of responses about possible areas for development, which would be considered.

A spokesman said: “We will not comment on individual responses, other than to stress that at this stage they are simply proposals.”

Framlingham Town Council will discuss the masterplan at a meeting next month.