Plans for 65 more homes in village set for go-ahead

Bacton housing development

The site of the development in Bacton. - Credit: Google Earth

Plans for another 65 homes in Bacton look set to take a step closer to reality as planners recommend that that the project is given the green light.

The project covers an area of 6.6 acres, on land off Broad Road, Bacton, and will be discussed at the Mid Suffolk Development Control Committee meeting on Wednesday, February 23.

But ward councillor Andy Mellen said he will be encouraging the committee to refuse the application "unless improvements to the design are brought forward".

Mr Mellen said: "This application site is one of five large developments coming forward in Bacton, and in my opinion this one is the least suitable site for building new homes. Sixty-five homes crammed into a small site between the B113 Road and the main rail line to Norwich looks like a tight, urban development rather than one suitable for a rural village.

Councillor Andy Mellen.

Councillor Andy Mellen. - Credit: JASON NOBLE LDRS

"The gardens are tiny and there is virtually no usable public green space.  As well as this, nearly all the services in Bacton are up the other end of the village - the village shop is around a mile away.

"This development is supposed to deliver a safe footway under the tight railway bridge on Pound Hill, but I have yet to see a suitable design for this. The only safe option I can envisage is installing a system of traffic lights at the bridge."

The development is made up of two one-bed, 33 two-bed and 30 three-bed properties, with 22 designated as affordable homes.

The plans, submitted by Keepmoat Homes, come after another development for 85 homes in the village were put on hold following Network Rail level crossing safety fears.

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Although this project is close to that proposed development, Network Rail are less concerned by these plans, with the developers "willing to fence off the site’s western boundary with the railway line beyond the proposed landscaping buffer."

The planning statement for the project, prepared by CJ Architect Ltd, says that large open green spaces incorporated in the plans "will provide recreation and amenity space for users, as well as to ensure new and existing habitats to thrive".

The committee report outlines some of the reasons why this project has been recommended to be given the green light, so long as the chief planning officer can smooth over some minor ecology issues with Keepmoat Homes: "It has been satisfactorily demonstrated that the number of dwellings proposed can be accommodated on site in relation to design, amenity, parking standards, sustainability and quality of place perspectives.

"House types include a variety of interesting architectural details that will lift the overall quality of the development.

"The access, appearance, scale, layout and landscaping are all considered to be well designed, sympathetic to the site and immediate locality and would not result in any unacceptable residential amenity, landscape, ecological, character and highway harm."