Inquiry date is set for homes scheme refusal

Three days have been set aside for a public inquiry to hear an appeal over proposals to use historic parkland, which provides an important gap between Saxmundham and Kelsale, for homes.

Christchurch Property Co Ltd wants to build 15 homes on land next to the sports ground at Carlton Park.

The company lodged an appeal for non-determination after Suffolk Coastal took too long to decide the plans, though the council subsequently indicated it would have refused the project.

Now the Planning Inspectorate has announced a three-day public inquiry will be held at the Riverside Centre, Great Glemham Road, Stratford St Andrew, starting on May 19.

The three-acre site at Carlton Park is south of the entrance to Saxmundham Sports Club and Carlton Park Caravan site, and close to a bowling green.

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Planning officers said the land provides an important gap between Saxmundham and Kelsale and there was adequate land coming forward for housing which had no special landscape designation, so there was no overriding need to provide housing on the site.

The scheme would include five affordable properties, although Kelsale Parish Council, which has objected to the proposal, says there is no identified need for affordable housing. It says use of the land would join Saxmundham to Kelsale and ruin the historic parkland.

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In a document submitted to the council, Richard Brown, for Christchurch Property, said the main issue was whether the proposals constitute sustainable development in a countryside location.

He said national planning policy stated there should be a presumption in favour of sustainable development if the local authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites, which Suffolk Coastal cannot do at present.

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