Casting vote seals approval for 70 new homes at Grundisburgh

Plans for 70 homes in Grundisburgh. Picture: HOPKINS HOMES

Plans for 70 homes in Grundisburgh. Picture: HOPKINS HOMES - Credit: Hopkins Homes

Controversial plans for a new housing development in Grundisburgh have been given the go-ahead - thanks to the casting vote of the chairman of the deciding committee.

Hopkins Homes’ proposals for 70 homes on land off Park Road and Chapel Road generated more than 400 objections.

The plans were deferred in the summer amid concerns over highways matters – particularly around narrow single-lane roads with pinch points nearby.

East Suffolk Council’s planning south committee opted to defer Hopkins’ two duplicate applications so that an independent highways assessment could be sought, given that Suffolk County Council Highways did not raise any objections.

That assessment suggested conditions for the application to progress. The council planning officers confirmed that there were no outstanding matters around highways that would mean they could be the grounds for refusal.

On Tuesday, the committee was split on four votes each on whether to approve, with the committee chairman Debbie McCallum using her casting vote to approve.

The second application, subject an appeal, remains under review.

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Councillor McCallum said: “We spoke of deferral on this and was given enough evidence that deferral was not going to benefit in any way, so I have chosen to approve the application.

“It’s not a position any chairman ever wants to be in.

“I believe I have made the right decision. I do apologise to any of the residents of Grundisburgh but in planning scheme [terms] I believe it was the right decision.”

Jonathan Lieberman, head of planning for Hopkins Homes, said: “We are pleased our plans to build 70 attractive and high-quality homes in Grundisburgh have been approved by East Suffolk Council’s planning committee.

“The new homes will be built on land the council has allocated for residential development in the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan to help meet the area’s shortage of housing."

In addition to the development, the project will also provide around £1.25million of Community Infrastructure Levy to help improve local infrastructure and facilities, and around £500,000 towards local secondary education and additional local bus services.

Ward councillor at East Suffolk Tony Fryatt stressed that the objectors were not NIMBYs, and added: “This is a very sensitive area and the reason you are getting inundated with complaints is because they are all damn-well justified.”


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