Plans to regenerate brownfield land with 23 homes

The padlocked gate to the former nursery site, at the top of the access road.

The padlocked gate to the former nursery site in Clare, near Bury St Edmunds. Pictured at the top of the access road - Credit: Sue Slaven

Plans for 23 homes on a one-hectare former nursery site have been met with concerns by neighbours.

An outline planning application has been submitted for the vacant site in Snow Hill, Clare, near Bury St Edmunds, that was formerly occupied by Townsend Nurseries.

The development would feature a mix of two-storey and single-storey homes, including six affordable properties.

The site is surrounded by the Heights estate and a handful of neighbour objections have been lodged against the application so far.

An indicative site layout by Brown & Scarlett Architects based in Pakenham 

An indicative site layout by Brown & Scarlett Architects based in Pakenham - Credit: Brown & Scarlett Architects

Concerns have been expressed over traffic, environmental and wildlife impact, loss of privacy to existing homes and density of housing on the new development.

One Gilbert Road resident wrote as part of their objection: "The proposed dwelling density is not in keeping with the surrounding Heights estate, and any proposal for new homes should ensure that it is in keeping with the surrounding properties."

Philip Cobbold, the agent on behalf of applicants Mr C Parker and Mrs C Cockerill, said in the planning statement that the indicative layout plan "clearly demonstrates that 23 dwellings can be accommodated on the site without causing material harm to residential amenity, highway safety, the environment, or any other interests of acknowledged importance".

The north-western sector of the site

The north-western sector of the site - Credit: Sue Slaven

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He also said "the proposed development represents the efficient regeneration of previously developed (brownfield) land in a sustainable location and will provide economic, social and environmental benefits".

The community also raised concerns during consultation over August and September 2020, and there was a virtual meeting in October 2021.

The statement of community involvement said changes had been made to the scheme since the original consultation took place.

The proposed development site is off Snow Hill, Clare

The proposed development site is off Snow Hill, Clare - Credit: Google

The planning statement said the existing trees and hedges along the boundaries of the site would be retained and reinforced to provide screening and mitigate the impact of the development on neighbouring properties. Acoustic fencing and additional planting along the southern boundary would help mitigate car parking on the site, it said.

A bat survey found it "unlikely" that the proposed development would have any negative impact on the local bat population.

The location plan

The location plan - Credit: Phil Cobbold Planning Ltd

An ecology report recommended that safeguards are put in place to protect small mammals and reptiles.

In response to concerns about traffic on the B1063 Snow Hill, Mr Cobbold said the new access road would be constructed to the relevant highway specification.

The site, which is a short walk from the centre of the town, remained in agricultural use since at least 1884 until the 1950s when the site was occupied by Townsend Nurseries, an environmental assessment said.

Currently the site is made up of overgrown vegetation, one brick building and one dilapidated greenhouse.

More detail, such as the proposed appearance of the homes and the actual layout of the scheme, would be put forward with a future planning application.