Hundreds of homes for mid Suffolk town

MORE than 700 homes could be built on land surrounding a Suffolk town in a move which looks set to divide the community.Developers have asked Mid Suffolk District Council to consider earmarking land around Needham Market for housing and employment in the Local Plan.

MORE than 700 homes could be built on land surrounding a Suffolk town in a move which looks set to divide the community.

Developers have asked Mid Suffolk District Council to consider earmarking land around Needham Market for housing and employment in the Local Plan.

The Local Plan is the planning blueprint for the area for the next decade and is currently being revised by the authority for the next ten years.

Different developers have approached the council asking for eight areas of land to be zoned for homes, one for mixed housing and employment uses, and one for business use in the town which currently has 4,300 residents.


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A district council spokesman said it would not be helpful to discuss the numbers of potential houses which could be fixed on the land under Government regulations, because some of the land bids could be unacceptable and some could not be fully developed.

The land developers want earmarked for housing is on Stowmarket Road, at and off Barking Road, at Hill House Farm on the north western edge of the town. Also next to Barretts Lane and Platten Close,

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land off Chalkeith Road, land at St Mary's Gardens and St Mary's Road and land at Grinstead Hill.

The council is also being asked to consider using land at Needham's chalk quarry for industrial and commercial use, with some housing. Land next to the Lion Barn Industrial Estate, next to the railway line, could also be zoned for employment and offices.

Josephine Lea, Needham Market town clerk, said: "Town councillors feel that development should not be permitted on land beyond 96 Stowmarket Road, as this land forms a break between Needham Market and Badley and growth here would add to the ribbon development between Needham Market and Stowmarket.

"The land is also of significance historically, being the site of a burial ground for plague victims."

Town councillors feel able to support development at Hill House Farm, where the land is next to a development of expensive homes. Town councillors felt the area would benefit from a mixture of differently priced properties.

They also reluctantly support some development at the end of Platten Close, if there really is a need for more homes in the town, and industrial development at Needham's quarry is acceptable, as long as it is confined within the present quarry.

But they oppose on land off Chalkeith Road where residents could suffer from dust and noise problems.

Pat Bellay, secretary of the Needham Market luncheon club for the business community, said more homes would help sustain the shops and firms.

Andrew Stringer, a Green mid Suffolk district councillor, said he wants to see brownfield land re-used first.

The land bids may or may not be earmarked in the Local Plan for development next year, any which are found acceptable could then be considered as part of planning applications submitted by developers.

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