Next phase of Haverhill North West 1,000-home development gets green light

The yellow boundary marks phase 2A for 41 homes in Haverhill within the wider North West Haverhill S

The yellow boundary marks phase 2A for 41 homes in Haverhill within the wider North West Haverhill Strategic Site for 1,150 homes marked in red.Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL - Credit: West Suffolk Council

Planning approval has been given for the next phase of work on more than 1,000 homes near Haverhill.

Outline planning permission was granted for 1,150 homes in March 2015 for the North West Haverhill Strategic Site allocated in the Haverhill Vision 2031 plan, and the first phase of 200 homes is already complete.

West Suffolk Council’s development control committee on Wednesday unanimously agreed to matters around layout, access and appearance for the next phase, 2A, for the 41 homes.

Stuart McAdam from developer Persimmon Homes, said: “This follows the incredibly successful first phase of development, of which only five of the 200 units remain unsold, and seeks to allow for a smooth transition of construction from phase one to phase two.”

Mr McAdam said it would prove to be an “attractive addition to the town” and would focus on family homes.

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Twelve of the 41 homes have been designated affordable.

While the committee granted unanimous approval for the reserved matters, there were concerns about the planned removal of more hedgerows.

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It followed 400-year-old hedges being dug up in the first phase unexpectedly, and according to Persimmon the hedgerow removal was needed to provide drainage routes for the development.

However, ward councillor Joe Mason said: “It’s essential that we retain hedgerows where possible for the ecological benefits they bring to the environment” and said the “clear intention to uproot many of these hedgerows constitutes a material loss to the ecology”.

He added: “I object to these plans in their current format until proper consideration is given to protecting these important species-rich habitats.”

Haverhill Town Council also objected, with issues around some homes not meeting suggested national space standards and the homes facing the main road being too tall and imposing among its chief concerns.

However, while concerns around hedgerows and the height of some of the homes were raised, the committee was in general support of the plans, which would allow the next phase of work to get underway.

Work on the planned relief road as part of the wider scheme is likely to begin in spring 2021, according to councillor John Burns, with delays thus far understood to be down to work over underground fibre optic cables which has not been carried out yet.

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