'Controversial' plans for Stonham Aspal homes look set to be refused

Location of Stonham Aspal Controversial 5 homes plan

The approximate site location for five homes in Stonham Aspal, that look set to be refused planning permission. - Credit: Google Maps

"Controversial" plans for five new homes in Stonham Aspal look set to be refused by the Mid Suffolk development control committee.

The plans refer to a 2.2-acre site, on land to the rear of the Leas, Quoits Meadow, Stonham Aspal. 

A report prepared for the committee which will decide the fate of the plans on Wednesday, March 9 described them as "controversial" and said the proposals had met with strong resistance from locals and Stonham Aspal Parish Council.

However, it also noted there has been support for the project. 

The planning statement, prepared by Phil Cobbold Planning, argues the development "would serve and support the local economic and social infrastructure of Stonham Aspal by providing additional family homes."

Other representations of support for the plans cited in the report say they would "help the village to grow and thrive", as well as helping "young people and young families stay in the village."

Stonham Aspal Parish Council said: "When the original outline application was considered there was a lack of housing land supply in the district, there is not now.

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"The site is on greenfield land, outside the settlement boundary. The proposal would impact a heritage asset (Orchard Farm) and is out of keeping with the rural character of its surrounds.

"The proposal would impact the residential amenity of existing properties in Quoits Meadow, would change the environment and would increase traffic. The site entrance is also dangerous. The threat of this development has been hanging over residents for five years."

The committee report, prepared by planning officers, recommends that councillors refuse planning permission, saying: "A low level of overall social benefit is noted, and a long term low level of economic benefit is also noted. Counter to this is an overall moderate to high level of environmental harm.

"In particular the proposal is considered to result in harm to the character, setting and significance of a heritage asset, the nearby Grade II Listed Orchard Farmhouse, and would result in harm to the to the rural character of the site and its surroundings.

"The adverse impacts of the proposal are, therefore, considered to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal."