Go-ahead given for 74 new affordable homes for Suffolk town

Our housing stock is becoming more eco-friendly, says Jan Hÿtch. Picture: Getty Images

Plans for 74 new affordable homes have been approved for Leiston. Stock image - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Plans for 74 new affordable homes in a Suffolk town have been given the go-ahead by planners.

The project in Leiston will see 55 homes for affordable rent built and 19 homes for shared ownership, including bungalows, to meet the town's housing needs for local people.

East Suffolk Council has approved the plans from Lovell Partnerships and Flagship Housing Group for an eight-acre site of former farmland at the rear of St Margaret's Crescent.

Plans to develop the site were first approved in principle in 2017 but work on the details has been ongoing and the plans have been amended throughout the process.

The scheme will include improvements/widening of the junction of St Margaret's Crescent and Waterloo Avenue, a reduction from 77 to 74 homes to address the requirement for surface water drainage infrastructure, the inclusion of a play area and ample open space, and the retention of all protected trees.

A council report said the development had been designed to provide a mix of houses, bungalows and flats, ranging from one-bedroom to four-bedrooms.

It said: "All properties are affordable, comprising a mixture of affordable rent (55) and shared ownership (19) housing. The affordable rent units comprise eight one-bedroom flats; three two-bed bungalows; 22 two-bed houses; 20 three-bed houses and two four-bed houses. The shared ownership units comprise four one-bed houses; seven two-bed houses and eight three-bed houses."

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WT Design Ltd, for the developers, said: "The development has been designed with the local community in mind, ensuring the built form fits attractively within the existing build form. The additional housing will provide support for the local businesses in and around Leiston."

Network Rail asked the council to include a condition that the railway crossing footpath near the site be closed because of concerns that the extra housing could lead to a significant intensification of use and increased danger. 

However, the council felt this was not enough reason to close this important route which allows access to countryside rights of way to the north of the town. The rail line is currently not in operation and if it is needed for Sizewell C, the crossing's future will have been part of the power plant application.