Decision delayed on 200 new homes for edge of Suffolk village

Land off Burwell Road, Exning, where plans have been lodged for 205 homes. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Land off Burwell Road, Exning, where plans have been lodged for 205 homes. - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

A decision on plans for more than 200 homes and a nursery near Newmarket has been pushed back so that issues can be ironed out.

Persimmon Homes lodged a hybrid application for full planning permission for 205 homes south of Burwell Road in Exning, and outline permission for a new nursery or pre-school.

The plans, which are effectively a second phase of development following the 120 homes at Chancery Park, had been due for approval at Wednesday’s West Suffolk Council development control committee meeting, but councillors voted 12 to three in favour of deferral.

That is to address a number of concerns, including a lack of consultation by developers with Exning Parish Council, further information to be sought from Suffolk County Council on whether key junctions close to the A14 will be impacted, and concerns over the buffer zones.

The original development brief for the site, which is allocated for up to 205 homes, indicated that a 15metre buffer zone of planting was needed around the west and south west portions of the site, but the proposals dipped below that in some places to between 10m and 13m.

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Councillors have asked for the number of homes to be reduced if needed to ensure the buffer zone remains in full.

The development will feature a mix of one-to-five bedroom homes, with 41 designated affordable: 21 shared ownership and 40 affordable rent.

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Three access roads will be created – one off Burwell Road itself while the other two will connect to existing roads from the adjacent development in Glebe Drive and Mallard Way.

The development also features funding for a cycle link that will connect into neighbouring Cambridgeshire.

However, councillor Peter Stevens said guarantees that it would not facilitate “development creep towards Newmarket and Newmarket Heath” were needed while councillor Susan Glossop said: “I am concerned the parish council say they have not been consulted enough.”

In addition, 22 market homes not conforming to national space standards, traffic impacts from the nearby 300-home development in Burwell and the local school and health centres already being at capacity remained points of concern for the committee.

However, Darren Cogman, from Bidwells, representing on behalf of Persimmon, said it was “an attractive scheme with large areas of open space,” and added: “Persimmon Homes remain extremely keen to develop the site properly to facilitate much-needed housing and associated infrastructure”.

He said the proposals had been adapted since first submission to improve designs and complied with all of the council’s policies.

Planning officers will work with developers to iron out the concerns, before proposals return to a future committee meeting for a decision.

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