Homes on ‘buffer zone’ between Martlesham and Woodbridge rejected amid fears over wildlife


Woodbridge - Credit: Archant

Deep concern that separation of the two communities would be destroyed and views from a beauty spot harmed prompted community leaders to reject proposals for 215 new homes.

Gladman Developments wanted to build the properties – and a 400sq m convenience store – on a 31-acre field off Top Street, Martlesham, at the back of Dukes Park, Woodbridge.

Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee though decided the scheme was against policies which sought to keep the land undeveloped “in order to prevent the coalescence” of Woodbridge and Martlesham.

The site was also very close to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Deben Estuary Special Protection Area and development would harm the setting of the AONB and disturb wildlife in the area.

Councillors were told there would be a 45m wide swathe of open space through the site – but this was land where cables for offshore wind farms would be buried and could not be built on in any case.

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Woodbridge councillor Geoff Holdcroft said the land was probably economically and socially sustainable as a housing site but the environmental impact was not acceptable.

He added: “This field and the adjoining field are the last bastions between the coalescence of Woodbridge and Martlesham and neither of us wants coalescence of these neighbourhoods.”

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Martlesham councillor Chris Blundell said communities immediately east of Ipswich were taking 29% of the 7,900 homes planned and this could rise to 40% with other expected planning applications.

He also expressed concern about the electro-magnetic field that could emanate from the buried cables.

He said: “Would you like your children to play on that area? I have put that to many residents and they say no.”

Planning case officer Phil Perkin said while development could bring benefits, the harm far outweighed them.

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