Homes plan for prominent town site

By David LennardONE of the most prominent sites on the edge of Southwold could be transformed if permission is granted for a new housing development.

By David Lennard

ONE of the most prominent sites on the edge of Southwold could be transformed if permission is granted for a new housing development.

The site at Bridge Foot Corner, Reydon, was for many years used as a garage and petrol station. More recently, it has been used as a builder's yard and as an antiques retail outlet.

Situated close to Mights Bridge beside the main road into Southwold, it is recognised as an important location for the area.

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D Taylor and Son have applied for permission to build seven cottages, three flats and two garages on the plot, but face a number of planning issues before permission is likely to be granted.

As the area is in a flood plain, the Environment Agency is insisting on a flood risk assessment before permission for new homes is granted.

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The results of the assessment are still awaited, but preliminary indications suggested a number of flood relief measures would need to be implemented.

There is also concern about the overdevelopment of the site and Reydon Parish Council members believe there are too many properties being proposed in what is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

But the applicants said an amendment to the original plan would see the proposed number of homes planned for the site reduced from 10 to eight.

Because the site is so close to Southwold, the town council was also asked for its opinion.

Southwold Town Council made the point it was a high-profile site and the development had to be appropriate.

Town councillors felt putting housing there was a positive move, but there were concerns about the proposed density.

Neighbours have also written to Waveney District Council, which will decide whether to grant planning permission, expressing their concerns about the proposed development.

One neighbour said: “The proposed density of 10 units over such a small area is excessive.

“The design and layout are also out of character with the area and will spoil the public views across the marshes, which is very much part of the character of Bridge Foot Corner.”

Other residents were worried any new properties would only add to the problems at what is a busy road junction.

But the applicants are convinced their plan will improve what is the main entrance into Southwold from Ipswich and Lowestoft.

In a statement accompanying their application, they said the proposed housing development would “make a better use of the site and a more attractive feature at this important location”.

Members of Waveney District Council's rural area development control committee will discuss the application tomorrow.

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