Final decision made on 26 homes in Suffolk village
- Credit: Google Maps
Final approval has been given for the design of 26 new homes in Worlingworth which have been in the pipeline since 2018, despite concerns over flooding issues and sustainability.
Outline planning permission to develop land to the south of Shop Street, Worlingworth, was approved in 2018, and now there are just weeks left until the planning permission lapses.
Mid Suffolk District Council's development control B committee voted to approve the final matters — scale, access, appearance, layout and landscaping — at its meeting on Wednesday.
The committee heard from agent Nicol Perryman, from Ingleton Wood LLP, on behalf of developers the Flagship Group.
She spoke about the developer's proposals to increase the biodiversity of the public space through landscaping, with bird nesting boxes and wildflower meadows.
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She said the "high quality design reflects modern living" and said there are no planning reasons why the application should not be given the go ahead.
All of the 26 homes will be detached or semi-detached houses, 19 of which will have garages.
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There will also be onsite parking, with a footpath leading to the village.
In terms of sustainability, air source heat pumps will be provided to each dwelling, along with electric charging points.
Suffolk County Council's flood and water team have since removed their holding objection and are content for the application to go ahead.
The parish council were not in attendance, but the planning officer noted an existing issue it has with the Anglian Water network that occasionally leads to flooding around the community centre.
Anglian Water said it is looking to remedy this issue.
Councillors praised the design of the development, such as the air source heat pumps, but raised concerns over the sewerage issue, including the proposed pumping station, and the lack of solar panels.
Councillor Matthew Hicks, Conservative representative for Hoxne and Worlingworth, said he has lived around two miles from the site for the last 18 years.
He said: "Further down the village by the community centre every winter the drain comes up and raw sewage appears in the village and every year Anglian Water says you can keep building more houses as everything is fine."
He said it "simply is not fine" for residents, who every winter have sewage water in their gardens.
He asked the committee to give "serious thought to the residents who will have more sewage in their garden", adding this will "only make it worse".
Despite this, only two objections were received from residents of the village, and Suffolk Highways gave no objections.
The applicant provided two options for landscaping, with one showing a more dense planting of trees and hedges, which would improve the landscaping but also bring about more biodiversity, with a second showing less trees.
Members were asked to vote for their preferred landscaping option, with the proposer choosing option B, in favour of more trees.
The committee's chair, Conservative councillor Barry Humphreys MBE, who represents Chilton, said it is difficult to refuse the application.
He said: "I accept the points from the ward councillor and the fact that he has experienced it and he has seen it, and so have the residents. But I also understand the point that there is only two objections although the outline plans were quite some time ago."
He also addressed the fact no solar panels have been included in the plans and the lack of orientation, but said he was fond of the open space, the planting and the design of the homes.
Green councillor Andrew Stringer, who represents Mendlesham, spoke against the proposal and said "we really have to take a stand against poor design".
"The NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) clearly tells us to do it, but here we go again, another development where views across countryside are put ahead of sustainably being able to live in these houses in the future," he said.
The council's committee narrowly approved the reserved matters application and two conditions, with four votes in favour, three against and one abstention, in line with the planning officer's recommendation.