Town council responds to plans for 279 homes on farmland

Land off Barking Road in Needham Market where plans have been lodged for 279 homes

Land off Barking Road in Needham Market where plans have been lodged for 279 homes - Credit: Google Maps

Needham Market Town Council has lodged an objection to plans for 279 new homes on farmland on the edge of the Suffolk town.

The plans, submitted by landowners David Willis, Marlene Perry, and Michael Watson, just before Christmas last year, would see 279 homes built on land to the north of Barking Road.

Parker Planning Services, on behalf of the applicants, says the plans, which would include 100 affordable homes, "demonstrates aesthetically pleasing architecture that enhances the site whilst establishing it as somewhere people would enjoy living both now and in future".

There have been other attempts for permission for homes on the site, with the most recent refused in 2020 when Needham Market Town Council "objected in the strongest terms" to the project. 

Another factor that has come into consideration is the fact that the Needham Market Neighbourhood Plan has now been passed, which has already supported and identified a target amount of homes required in the town.

Needham Market Town Council held a public consultation on February 7, attended by 74 locals, which they say demonstrates a "high scale of public concern and objection".

The town council also employed consultants Compass Point who helped them to form their objection.

A report prepared by the consultants said: "The site is not allocated for development in any emerging or adopted development plan document. Mid Suffolk has in excess of a five-year land supply and therefore there is no overriding need for the development as housing requirements for the area have been met.

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"The application would result in landscape harm and erode the existing landscape buffer between Needham Market and Barking.

"The site is not the most sustainable location for new housing, has poor accessibility and pedestrian and vehicular connections to the town and is remote from local services and facilities.

"The revised application has failed to address previous highway concerns and will have a significant adverse impact on the existing highway network.

"It is concluded that that there are still fundamental planning policy and technical issues with the application and that it is contrary to adopted and emerging development plan policies."

Mid Suffolk planning officers are examining the homes application and a decision is expected soon.