279 homes project set to be refused planning permission

Land off Barking Road, Needham Market

Land off Barking Road, Needham Market, that had been earmarked for 279 homes. - Credit: Google Maps

Plans for 279 homes in Needham Market have been branded as a "wholly inappropriate and discordant" form of development and look set to be rejected next week.

The project, which would is proposed for 37 acres of farmland north of Barking Road, was submitted by landowners David Willis, Marlene Perry, and Michael Watson, just before Christmas last year.

Parker Planning services, on behalf of the applicants, said that the plans showed "aesthetically pleasing architecture that enhances the site whilst establishing it as somewhere people would enjoy living both now and in future".

However, the project received backlash from Needham Market Town Council and the Needham Market Society, which described it as a "new village", as well as local residents. 

Needham Market's Neighbourhood Plan, which was adopted earlier this year, has been used during the application process. 

On the decision to recommend refusal of the plans, Needham Market Town Council said: "The town council is pleased to learn Mid Suffolk District Council planning officer’s recommendation to the planning committee, to take place on April 6 and due to consider the application for development of up to 279 new dwellings on greenfield land off Barking Road, is an unequivocal refusal.

"Needham Market’s Neighbourhood Plan, which was almost unanimously supported by the community in the recent public referendum, must now play a fundamental role in decision making on planning applications of this nature.

"The application is contrary to the Neighbourhood Plan and has been wholly rejected by the local community during its consultation period."

The officers' report, to be presented to councillors at next Wednesday's (April 6) Mid Suffolk development control committee, says: "In conclusion, this proposal for outline permission for the erection of up to 279 dwellings with access to be considered represents a wholly inappropriate and discordant form of development, which does not reflect but rather undermines the overall strategy of Mid Suffolk’s Development Plan.

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"The application does not accord with the development plan as a whole and permission should be refused. There are no considerations which indicate that a decision should be taken otherwise; the harms clearly and decisively outweigh any benefits."

More information on the plans (DC/21/06882) can be found here.