Plans to increase number of homes in town development deferred

Aerial view of land off Gun Cotton Way in Stowmarket

Land off Gun Cotton Way in Stowmarket, where plans to develop 141 homes have been lodged - Credit: Mid Suffolk District Council

Proposals to increase the number of homes planned for Cedars Park in Stowmarket have been deferred so that options for a play area can be assessed.

Two portions of land close to the Tesco store off Gun Cotton Way secured panning permission in 2018 for 116 homes in total - one with 68 properties and the second with 48 as well as commercial units.

But Bellway Homes has submitted revised plans for those two parcels of land that would see the total number of homes increase by 25 homes to 141.

Those fresh proposals aim to deliver more smaller homes for downsizers or first time buyers, and will see the number of four-bed homes reduce by 10.

Kathie Guthrie said the road safety implications meant the committee only had one option available t

Mid Suffolk councillor Kathie Guthrie said a play area on the Stowmarket 141 homes plan would be more amenable

On Wednesday afternoon, Mid Suffolk District Council's development control committee unanimously agreed to defer a decision so that developers and officers could work together to come up with a portion where a play area can be incorporated.

The council has a target of provision for a play area in developments of more than 10 homes where a suitable nearby facility isn't available.

Councillor Kathie Guthrie who chairs the committee welcomed the provision for smaller homes but said: "I am nervous that there is no play area provision". She said a play park would "give confidence to members that while we won't get everything out of the site we want, we would get something a little more amenable."

Councillor Andrew Stringer added that he feared the nearby McDonald's and Costa car parks, which have already been built as the commercial element of the previous plans, would be where children congregate.

Andrew Stringer, of Mid Suffolk Council's Green group Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mid Suffolk councillor Andrew Stringer feared the car parks of Costa and McDonald's would become the play where youngsters gather without a play area at the Stowmarket 141 homes site - Credit: Archant

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The committee also raised concerns over the lack of crossing point in Gun Cotton Way, which is a busy route, but it was acknowledged that there was limited scope to deliver a crossing under current plans as prior approval has already been given.

Laura Dudley-Smith from Strutt & Parker, planning consultants on behalf of Bellway, said the application "seeks to retain the principles established, and alongside [add] an adjusted housing mix that will allow for the provision of smaller homes more suited to the current market."

The height of an apartment block has also been reduced by two metres after discussions with the Cedars Park Residents' Association.

Ward councillors Dave Muller and Terence Carter both recognised there were benefits to the scheme but Mr Muller said that feedback from residents indicated an increase of 25 was too many.

Plans are likely to return for a decision within the next two or three months.