Further plans for controversial homes site at Suffolk school

Stephen Chessher, chair of Rage action group

Stephen Chessher, chair of Rage action group, which is opposed to the plans for the site at St Felix School in Southwold - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Further plans have been submitted relating to highways and footpath improvements as part of a controversial scheme to develop new homes at a school playing field site. 

Developer Hill Group has already secured outline permission for 55 homes at St Felix School in Southwold and the latest proposals are for the access to the land south of Halesworth Road, pedestrian access and improvements to a footpath. 

However, the Reydon Action Group for the Environment (RAGE) is concerned the development could lead to more four-and five-bedroom homes being built for people from outside the area. 

Of the latest plans, RAGE chair Stephen Chessher is concerned about traffic safety close to the site as the housing was set to be built close to a semi-blind bend with limited visibility and above a hidden dip which restricts visibility, while motorists did not always observe the 30mph speed limit. 

In January, he told the EADT: “We are concerned firstly about the environmental damage that this is going to do to the immediate area, but also the development itself is going to benefit other people from outside the area and we should not be providing more holiday lets. 

“We fear that we are going to end up with the worst of both worlds with the housing development and the environmental damage to boot.”  

The impact on the environment has also been raised, along with the potential provision of homes for people from outside the area. 

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Original plans had outlined 69 homes, but this number has been reduced to 55. 

Mr Chessher said the reduction in the number of homes could lead to a loss in the number of affordable properties as planning guidelines require 35% to be affordable. 

He was also worried that the plans had been submitted before a new rule was introduced in the Reydon Neighbourhood Plan requiring that all new housing has to be for private residents. 

The school is currently owned by education provider Inspired Learning Group. 

The Hill Group says it has consulted with the community and is working with an ecological consultant to ensure a high-quality scheme that minimises environmental impact and promotes biodiversity enhancement where possible.