Decision made on plans for 55 homes
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Controversial plans to build 55 new homes in Melton have been given the go ahead, despite widespread concerns over planned access roads.
Developers Warburg Dawson Partnership secured outline planning permission for land off St Andrews Place to be turned into 55 homes, 18 of which will be affordable, at East Suffolk Council's planning south committee meeting on Tuesday.
It effectively forms the second phase of plans to develop the wider site, the first being the Riduna Park development for businesses, while the remaining land will come forward for development in future.
The planning committee approved plans by five votes to three, despite objections from Melton Parish Council, Suffolk County Council Highways, ward councillor Rachel Smith-Lyte and 91 members of the community.
Chris Dawson on behalf of the applicants said the homes will be of a "very low density" and more than 50% of the area was being dedicated to open space.
Questions were raised as to why it was not developed in conjunction with the Carter site adjacent, but Mr Dawson said: "As with many developments it needs to be phased - sometimes it's not possible to get all the bits of the jigsaw together at the right time.
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"We have done exactly what we promised and delivered phase one, Riduna Park, we will deliver this phase and will deliver the last phase if you maintain your trust in us."
Access to the new homes will be off St Andrews Place, which was the key point of concern for councillors.
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Suffolk Highways lodged an objection citing the difficulty of construction traffic getting down St Andrews Place and the Melton crossroads already being over capacity in congestion. However, the report by planning officers said that those concerns were not sufficient to warrant refusal.
Ward councillor Rachel Smith-Lyte said: "St Andrews Place has really tight turns, it's pretty narrow and the equally narrow Station Road which is proposed to be the access is already struggling to cope with the traffic."
However, committee member Stuart Bird said: "We have been told about access and St Andrews Place is a narrow winding road, but it's a narrow winding road for the existing houses there."
Melton Parish Council said it fails to deliver community benefits, did not meet the highways requirements and did not provide enough one and two bedroom homes.
Conditions with the outline planning consent will require a construction management plan to be completed that effectively maps out how construction traffic will access the site, while some improvements to St Andrews Place will be made, including widening footways and additional parking spaces to help reduce the number of cars parked on the road.
A final planning application with matters of layout, design, scale and appearance must be approved before construction can start.