Plans for homes to raise cash for golf club are withdrawn amid protests

OUR TOWN feature at Stowmarket Golf Club.

The club's plans for nine homes close to the course have been withdrawn. - Credit: Archant

Stowmarket Golf Club's plans for houses close to the course have been withdrawn amidst objections from local residents and a parish council.

The plans, submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council, were for nine detached homes with garages.

However, the development received backlash from members of the public as well as Great Finborough Parish Council.

The landscape and visual appraisal, written by chartered landscape architect, Lucy Batchelor-Wylam, commissioned by Stowmarket Golf Club, said: "The housing site is ‘enabling’ development and is required to generate income to allow the golf club to continue its operations and help overcome the financial challenges posed by the pandemic.

"The proposal has strived to respond to its sensitive location and meet policy and guidance requiring a sympathy for local character and history and landscape setting."

Another document submitted to the district council, the planning and design statement, prepared by Patrick Allen & Associates Architects, said the project "would meet the economic role of sustainable development as it will provide funds which will enable the golf club to carry out improvements to its facilities.

site of proposed new homes

The site of the now withdrawn plans for nine new homes close to the golf course. - Credit: Google Earth

"This in turn will provide employment opportunities for local tradesman during the construction phase.

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"Furthermore, future residents of the proposed dwellings will provide trade and custom which will help to sustain and improve the vitality and viability of existing local services and facilities in Great Finborough and adjoining settlements.

"The improvements to the club will benefit the local community by helping to secure the long-term viability of the club, thereby helping to secure 25 full-time and part-time jobs of local people employed there.

"The scheme will provide social benefits through the provision of nine new family homes."

The project faced backlash from members of the public, including 30 formal objections, for reasons including concerns over the homes spoiling the outlook from footpaths as well as the countryside being damaged by the works.

Great Finborough Parish Council "strongly" objected to the plans, saying: "We already have more than enough housing both established and granted proposals and any more will be totally unsustainable.

"This proposal is finance-based and pure opportunism outside the settlement boundary.

"The proposal would provide economic benefits to the golf club but nothing to the community as a whole.

"It is strongly felt that this proposal will be the worst kind of development outside a settlement boundary and should be refused."