Villagers to carry on ‘vigorously’ fighting large housing development plan after access road rejected

Ixworth Parish Council chairman Ben Lord with resident Dennis Ross (left) Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ixworth Parish Council chairman Ben Lord with resident Dennis Ross (left) Picture: GREGG BROWN

A community will continue to campaign “vigorously” against plans for a large housing development in their Suffolk village after an access road to the proposed site was rejected.

Persimmon Homes wants to build 90 homes in Ixworth, in land off Crown Lane, along with a connecting road south of the A1088.

However residents are concerned access onto the site would be unsafe and feel the development would be too big.

St Edmundsbury Borough councillors refused the developer’s application for an access road at a planning meeting last week, but a decision is pending over the homes.

Ixworth Parish Council chairman Ben Lord said while “delighted” with a unanimous rejection by the committee over the access road, he had “cautious optimism” after a previous refusal for a controversial ‘ghost’ junction was overturned at appeal.

Mr Lord said: “We will continue to campaign vigorously against any planned development in our village - not just in this case - where we believe it’s not just in our interests, but our community’s interests and we will fight that and campaign against it with all of the abilities we have.”

At the meeting Mr Lord said the access road “seeks to deliver to/from a ghost-island junction that will make my village become a guaranteed, prolific accident black spot that is in direct opposition to the adopted 2010 Crown Lane Masterplan”.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Suffolk said the new junction to provide access to the site has already been approved by the Planning Inspectorate and “is considered the safest means of access into the development”. Construction of this junction will start in the spring.

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Suffolk County Council Highways had said the planned layout of the access road was not detailed enough to give a full response.

In the end the planning committee rejected it over a loss of trees and vegetation.

Mr Lord also said at the meeting: “Without any doubt, our community is being faced with one of the nation’s largest home builders attempting to railroad their corporate desires ahead of what is in the best interests of not only our community but the very people they seek to sell their homes to.”

The Persimmon spokesman said: “Options will now be reviewed, regarding a potential appeal or the submission of a new application for the spine road [access road] at Ixworth.

“We have an existing application pending, which includes both the spine road and the residential element for this development. This is due to be heard at planning committee in the coming months and the reasons for refusal of the spine road proposals will be addressed within this application.”

He also said their proposals would provide much-needed new homes for Ixworth, with the access road opening up the wider scheme for a potential new primary school and further housing.

But Mr Lord said the community was concerned over the quantity and density of new homes and also that the developer was not including any affordable housing.

The Persimmon spokesman said they had already met with Ixworth Parish Council on site and would be arranging further meetings to share the updated proposals for the residential element.

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