Disappointment for developers as 112 homes for village rejected

The site where the homes could be built in Beck Row

The site where it had been hoped to build the homes in Beck Row - Credit: Google Earth

Proposals to build 112 new homes in a west Suffolk village have been refused by planners after a number of objections.

Land Allocation Ltd applied to build the estate on a 12-acre agricultural field south-east of Rookery Drove in Beck Row, between Lakenheath and Mildenhall.

Villagers though said the local school was full, voiced fears about the capacity of the GP surgery and worries over the adequacy of the sewerage system, and said the community could not cope with more large-scale development.

West Suffolk Council has now rejected the planning application, which would have included 37 affordable homes.

The district council said the project was contrary to the development plan, the area already had a five-year housing land supply, and a package of mitigation measures to improve infrastructure - including £1.1million for education - had not been agreed.

Beck Row, Holywell Row and Kenny Hill Parish Council said: "This planning application is outside the parish boundary, and must be refused otherwise a precedent will be set which will allow further developments of this kind which in turn will lead to the destruction of valuable farmland, a lack of countryside and a greater pressure on our already limited infrastructure."

District council planning case officer Britta Heidecke said "benefits of granting planning permission for the proposed development would be significantly outweighed by the identified harm that would arise".

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AAH Planning Consultants, for Land Allocation Ltd, said the development would have constituted "sustainable development in a sustainable location that respects the existing character of the settlement".

It said: "On balance, it can be seen that this proposal will offer a quality development, contributing to a mix of housing stock within the vicinity in a manner that would complement and enhance the character and setting of the local area, whilst remaining compatible with the surrounding land uses. In particular, the proposal is considered to meet the following opportunities afforded by the site location.

"Contribution to the expansion of the existing settlement through the introduction of much-needed residential properties in a sustainable location; respond to, complement and enhance the local built character; and improve the ecological value of the site."

It is not yet known if the developers will appeal the decision.