Still no decision on homes plans for Suffolk village
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Developers' hopes of building 44 new homes in Elmswell close to an expanding quarry site have been delayed again by councillors, who will now carry out a site visit.
JD and RJ Baker Farms Ltd want to build the homes on land between Cresmedow Way and Warren Lane but the project was deferred in December so more information could be sought on the impact of the planned extension of the nearby Lawn Farm Quarry.
The plans returned to Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee on March 9 and it was agreed to defer the plans again.
This was so advice could be sought on the risks of refusal and for a site visit ahead of the next consideration.
Part of the land, while outside the village’s settlement boundary, is allocated for 38 homes in the merging local plan, but the developer’s proposals plan to extend that into open countryside too.
Committee members raised concerns about the traffic impact on the narrow Warren Lane access route, and whether there is a need for the homes given more than 700 are already being constructed or have planning permission and the authority has a land supply in excess of nine years.
Previous outline permission for 38 homes agreed in 2018 expired last year without work having been undertaken.
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James Bailey, planning agent on behalf of the developers, said additional information from Suffolk County Council - the minerals authority - had not raised concerns about any extension of the quarry.
He added: “The scheme we are presenting now seems to make a lot more sensible use of the space.
“What we have got now in front of us, albeit with an additional six units, is something that works better in terms of its setting and in terms of its improvements and enhancements it is looking to provide.”
Ward councillor Sarah Mansel said there were “still no satisfactory or sustainable solutions to traffic issues or education facilities in the village,” citing Warren Lane as “already heavily used as a rat run”.
Fellow ward councillor Helen Geake said approval would “encourage further sprawl into the countryside”.
It is understood an additional planning manager will be available at the next committee meeting to provide impartial planning advice on the risks of refusal.