Hollesley housing bid is ‘finely balanced’ but should proceed

Opposition has been voiced over proposals to use part of the grounds of a residential home for nine properties, including much-needed affordable housing.

Despite the objections, Suffolk Coastal councillors are recommended to approve the scheme on April 1 for the wooded land at Glebe House, Rectory Road, Hollesley – though officers admit the decision is “finely balanced”.

Planning case officer Melanie van de Pieterman said in a report that the development – which will be in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – would not have a significant impact on the landscape or the overall character of the village as it was well screened by trees and mature hedging.

She said: “Hollesley is a designated Key Service Centre and is capable of taking some limited development. It is believed that the village can comfortably accommodate the additional dwellings and it relates well to village facilities which are in easy walking distance and therefore it is not unsustainable in this context.

“It is appreciated that this application is very finely balanced. However, having examined the submitted details, and assessed the representations received in respect of the proposal, it is considered that overall the scheme is acceptable and offers the opportunity for a high quality development with a close relationship with the main village.”

The affordable dwellings – two three-bed houses and a two-bed bungalow – were a welcome inclusion. Under new Government rules, the scheme does not have to provide any affordable housing but the applicants were keen to see affordable housing provided locally.

A small allotment area is also included.

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The six houses for the open market would be four four-bed houses and two three-bed bungalows, plus change of use of the residential home’s manager’s house to a permanent dwelling.

Hollesley Parish Council though has objected because the site is outside the existing village boundary, has not been identified as a potential site in the site specific allocations, the community has already met its criteria for new builds needed, and the scheme would affect the character of the village.

Five letters of support have been received, but also six letters of objection from residents raising concerns over extra traffic, overdevelopment of the site, lack of need for affordable housing, loss of habitat and wildlife.