Homes plan sparks parking row

A PLAN to build more than 35 homes has sparked a controversy over parking in a Suffolk town.

Richard Smith

A PLAN to build more than 35 homes has sparked a controversy over parking in a Suffolk town.

Land next to Valley Road in Leiston is earmarked for 36 homes and Suffolk Coastal councillors are being recommended to accept the scheme when they meet on August 20.

But Leiston Town Council has written a strongly-worded response in which town councillors warn that the scheme could create disharmony in future years. They said the development could make the current parking problems in the area even worse.

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“The very worst outcome would be for change of use to be granted and our major concerns over parking to be ignored - this would hurt enormously and be a slap in the face to local residents and democracy,” said the town council.

The site contains an allotment/smallholding at the front with the rear partly covered in scrub and the plans have been amended so that a proposed play area is now to be used for parking.

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Suffolk Coastal said that the proposed provision of 1.5 spaces per house is in accordance with the current car parking standards, and there is also a nearby public car park.

But town councillors said: “The site is surrounded by 49 old dwellings that have no facility for off-street parking.

“This has led to an aggravated parking problem in the area which, due to geography and street layout, causes bad feeling, loss of amenity and is constantly referred to the town council as a big problem.

“This cannot and must not be allowed to get any worse. This development, should it be approved, must be able to contain all the vehicles it is expected to generate.

“This equates to at least two cars per household these days and this must be considered a minimum provision. There cannot be any excuse for approving a development in this position which would, for years to come, create misery and disharmony for both existing and potential new residents alike. That would be very unprofessional indeed.”

The councillors are also worried about the number of houses and said 27 homes should be the maximum allowed.

Suffolk Coastal planners said the site is one of the last remaining undeveloped areas of its type close to a market town centre in the district - but it is not important enough to be kept undeveloped.

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