Developer says 146 village homes to make 'positive contribution' to area

Land off Union Road on the edge of Stowmarket and Onehouse where 146 homes granted

Land off Union Road on the edge of Stowmarket and Onehouse where 146 homes have been granted planning permission. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Google Maps

Community leaders have given the final approval for 146 homes to be built near Onehouse and Stowmarket.

Outline approval to develop land south of Union Road, next to the existing 300-property Hopkins Homes development on the edge of Stowmarket, was granted by a casting vote in March last year.

On Wednesday, the final approval around the layout, landscaping, scale and appearance of the estate was granted approval by six votes to one at Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee meeting.

Developer Bloor Homes Eastern said it would “deliver a sustainable scheme that will integrate and contribute to the surrounding area,” that will “make a positive contribution to the locality”.

Alex Clarke, design and technical director with the firm, said: “While it's acknowledged the site does have some constraints, these have all aided and improved the design and layout of the scheme.

“We believe the level of technical work undertaken throughout this application process clearly demonstrates Bloor’s commitment to achieving a positive development on this site.”

The development includes 21% provision of affordable homes – below the target 33% in the council’s policy –, with a commitment to provide cabling for electric vehicle charging points at all planned parking spaces and solar panels on all houses.

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The developers said hydrogen conversion kits will be provided for all gas boilers to future-proof them.

However, questions were raised over why air-source heat pumps were not chosen over gas.

In addition, planning officers have been tasked with negotiating bolstered hedgerows to the north and south of the site and opportunities for upgrading the pedestrian paths to shared walking and cycle paths.

Green councillor John Matthissen said it should have been a priority four years ago. Picture: OWEN H

Councillor John Matthissen questioned why the estate would be connected to the gas grid - Credit: Archant

Ward councillor John Matthissen acknowledged the work of Bloor liaising with the council to iron out issues, but said “the connection to the gas grid is all wrong in principle – we should be moving to air source heat pumps.”

He added: “Overall, this site with its considerable south-facing slope has actually got the capability of delivering net-zero heating and water consumption if we built them to that standard.”

It is not yet clear when work will begin on site.