Controversial homes plan will be reconsidered by councillors

The new homes would be built in Victoria Mill Road, but do not accord with the development plan

The new homes would be built in Victoria Mill Road, but do not accord with the development plan - Credit: Google Maps

Planners will be revisiting a decision to approve new homes, which has attracted controversy because the proposals do not fit with development plans. 

However, a spokesperson for East Suffolk Council (ESC) said the reason the application for 49 homes off Victoria Mill Road in Framlingham would be discussed by planning committee was due to part of the site being declared an Asset of Community Value (ACV). 

An ACV designation is given to land deemed to be of importance to a community and places a restriction on any development. 

Framlingham Town Council has been challenging the go-ahead given by ESC in January on the basis that the district council had failed to take the town’s Neighbourhood Plan into account when making the decision. 

A letter has been sent to ESC outlining legal advice the town council had received from the legal firm Leigh Day warning that the district council had "erred" by failing to take into account the development plan. 

Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, has also been consulted and will be meeting with the leader and chief executive of ESC this week to discuss the issue. 

As well as the town council, 108 residents had objected to Leaper Land Promotion's housing plans, along with 430 people who signed a petition against the scheme. 

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In particular, the main concerns were the "grossly unsafe" winding road, which was considered too narrow with right-angle bends and the number of homes, along with access arrangements for the site. 

A statement on the town council website said: “We are pleased to learn that ESC has agreed that its planning committee will reconsider the application for 49 homes off Victoria Mill Road.” 

Dr Poulter said: “As part of my regular meetings with council leaders, I am meeting with the leader of East Suffolk Council, Councillor Steve Gallant and chief executive Stephen Baker later this week and I can confirm that the issue of the planning application on Victoria Mill Road will be on the agenda for discussion.”

An ESC spokesperson said it was not the legal letter, but the designation of a site for highways improvements as an ACV, that resulted in the return to the planning committee. 

He added: “East Suffolk has received its own legal advice concerning other grounds of challenge put forward by the town council which confirms there is no merit in those points, therefore the report will remain largely unchanged in areas not related to the ACV status.”