45 new homes refused planning application over fears of overwhelming village
PUBLISHED: 19:00 05 March 2020
A planning application for 45 new homes in a small Suffolk village has been refused over fears of the impact the development would have on the landscape and that it would overwhelm local services.
Babergh District Council refused the application on March 2 as it felt the developer had not identified a local housing need and that it would cause "significant harm" to the countryside.
The application was made last year for a plot of land west of Church Road in Bentley - but was met with disapproval by both the Parish Council and residents.
Bentley Parish Council recommended refusal for the Code Development Planners Ltd site in early January.
It referred to a report from Louise Barker, a Babergh housing enabling officer, who said there was a need for affordable homes for first time buyers and older people downsizing which had not been met in the application.
She said: "Affordability issues are the key drivers for this increased demand for smaller homes."
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The developers had suggested the quota of affordable housing would be met by another nearby site, however this has not yet been given planning permission.
As well as a lack of affordable homes, the proposed houses had potential to overwhelm Bentley Primary School and developers initially agreed to provide an expansion of the pupil drop-off and pick-up area in their application.
However, there was later confusion over who would fund elements of the expansion and Suffolk County Council advised that they could not afford the expansion themselves if the school hit capacity.
Several residents also objected to the site due to the potential impact on the landscape.
David Busby, district councillor the Bentley parish, said: "I put a lot of store in what the Parish say.
"We all know that we have to build more houses but the burden is falling disproportionately on those villages surrounding Ipswich.
"Wolsey Grange about 1100, Capel St Mary 750, Copdock 250, East Bergholt 250 and Bentley about 50 - all with no promise of any improvement in road infrastructure and cuts in bus services."
Code Development Planners Ltd have been contacted for comment.
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