Plans for 20 homes in Suffolk village unanimously refused

Land south of Forest Road, Onehouse, the site of the proposed development.

Land south of Forest Road, Onehouse, the site of the proposed development. - Credit: Google Maps

An application for 20 homes near Stowmarket has been refused after members voted to go against recommendations for approval.

The project was submitted by Harris Strategic Land and would have covered a 3.4-acre site on land south of Forest Road in Onehouse and included seven affordable homes.

The scheme was originally recommended for approval in February 2022, but due to heritage and landscape issues, the plans were withdrawn from the Mid Suffolk development control committee.   

The plans returned this month, once again being recommended by planning officers to be granted outline planning permission.

However, councillors voted unanimously against the plans at the committee meeting last Wednesday (May 18).  

After the meeting, Councillor John Matthissen said: "I and the village are pleased to see this proposal soundly, indeed unanimously, refused. 

"The strategic gap between village and town are fundamentally important to the local community.

"The committee recognised that there were minimal public benefits from building yet more houses locally to outweigh the landscape, heritage and policy reasons to refuse."

The planning statement for the project said: "The benefits of the scheme include delivery of housing to support the district council’s housing delivery supply, on a sustainable site.

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"The site completes a logical extension of the settlement boundary and adds to the entrance to Onehouse.

"As an emerging allocation, it is considered this proposal would make a positive contribution to the village of Onehouse, which is in keeping with the character and form of the existing settlement."

However there was concern voiced about the plans from Onehouse Parish Council, who said: "The development will diminish the strategic gap between Stowmarket and Onehouse which has already been reduced with the granting of permission for the developments in Union Road.

"This is prime agricultural land and should be protected and not developed.

"Although the application states that the hedgerow will be retained, it is clear that a significant amount will need to be removed to allow for the necessary visibility splays, this would have a detrimental effect on the wildlife habitat and biodiversity in the area.

"Infrastructure in the area is already under strain and cannot accommodate the current approved developments. Schools, doctors and dentists are oversubscribed before the completion of the three major developments in the area."

It is unclear whether Harris Strategic Land will return with another application for the site.