Plans for 20 homes in village near Ipswich withdrawn

The application had been due to be built on The Street in Witnesham 

The application had been due to be built on The Street in Witnesham - Credit: Google Maps

An application to build 20 homes in the village of Witnesham has been withdrawn. 

The properties were proposed for old farmland at Street Farm - part of which used to be a pig farm.

The development would have been a mixture of two to five-bedroom homes and one-bedroom apartments.  

Developers Michael Howard Homes first put in the plans to the then Suffolk Coastal District Council for the project back in August 2018. 

The developer argued that building on the land would remove "an unsightly collection of dilapidated buildings from the village" and help to meet the area's housing needs.

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Seven of the 20 homes would have been designated as "affordable".

There had been concerns from nearby neighbours that the new properties would overlook their homes.

They were also concerned that new homes would increase the risk of flooding, an existing issue for some of the neighbours.

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Despite this, Swilland and Witnesham grouped Parish Council did not object to the plans at the time, considering them to have an "overriding benefit" to the local area.  

The plot was also included in the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan as an area identified for development. 

Planning officers had recommended the application for approval subject to further agreement on issues like drainage.

The application was therefore  approved in June 2019 by East Suffolk Council. 

Since the site's approval work had been going on behind the scenes to complete a section 106 agreement.

S106 agreements relate to money paid by developers to local authorities to off-set the impact of a new housing development.

A note included on the application on the East Suffolk planning website said that work on the S106 had been drawing to an end. 

"The work on the s106 legal agreement has been ongoing and progressed almost to the point of completion," said an East Suffolk planning officer. 

"However, by email dated 30 November 2020, the applicant and his agent have requested that the application be withdrawn with immediate effect."

It's not clear from the documents why the application for the site was withdrawn. 

The developers were contacted for comment. 

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