High hopes for Alde and Ore estuary housing proposals

EADT; Mike Page Aerial Photo Library; Snape and the Alde; PICTURE COPYRIGHT MIKE PAGE - PICTURES AVA

EADT; Mike Page Aerial Photo Library; Snape and the Alde; PICTURE COPYRIGHT MIKE PAGE - PICTURES AVAILABLE THROUGH ARCHANT SUFFOLK PHOTOSALES WITH A DONATION TO CHARITY AS AGREED; PICTURES RECEIVED - OCTOBER 2009 - Credit: Archant

A community group has high hopes that proposals put forward to allow housing to fund sea defences in Suffolk could be in place by next spring.

At the last Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership (AOEP) meeting, the group revealed the proposals, to protect 1,500 homes and some of the county’s most stunning scenery from flooding along 42km of riverbank from Snape to Shingle Street, were being actively considered by Suffolk Coastal District Council.

The £7m-£10m scheme will be part-financed through an innovative funding initiative called Enabling Development under which planning restrictions preventing development on agricultural land in the estuary can be lifted to levy the required capital.

Landowners in the area have put forward 39 sites, with planners at Suffolk Coastal giving a ‘cautious yes’ to eight sites for exceptional planning permission, and seeming willing to consider another seven sites.

A spokesman for the AOEP said: “These planning permissions will give no financial gain to the landowner other than the existing value of the land.

“There will also be tight conditions on the location of these enabling development sites.

“The number of houses on each site will be limited to a sustainable number within the parish and they should be sensitive to the landscape, environment and biodiversity.

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“It is not possible at the moment to put a value on any site until we know the constraints on each of them and the type of development likely to go on them.”

Chair of the AOEP, Sir Edward Greenwell, said: “There is due to be a district council election next May, and we believe that the current ruling group would like to have the principle of Enabling Development in place by the beginning of the ‘election purdah’ period sometime in March.

“Early in the new year it may be possible to get some idea of the sums that might be raised from potential Enabling Development sites and by May 2015 we hope to be in a position to discuss in much greater detail the Enabling Development programme with local parishes and the community.”

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