Kentford: Plans submitted for 133 homes in west Suffolk

Meddler Stud in Kentford.

Meddler Stud in Kentford. - Credit: Archant

VILLAGERS have said they fear a proposal to build 133 houses on land that was once part of a historic stud farm could create a “ghetto” of unsold homes.

Plans for the scheme, which would see the development of 17 acres of paddocks at Meddler Stud in Kentford, have been submitted to Forest Heath District Council planners by Meddler Properties Ltd and Agora Developments Ltd.

Those behind the outline proposals for 39 affordable homes and 94 private homes say they hope to create a “new heart” for the village.

But residents have raised fears about the density of the build, traffic problems, flood risks and increased pressure on schools.

Documents prepared by URS on behalf of Meddler Properties state that the site comprises a small part of a former stud that is “no longer considered to be suitable or viable for equine use due to its small size, lack of access to gallops and dilapidated buildings and therefore presents an opportunity for residential redevelopment to help meet housing needs.”

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The developers described the project, which is accessed via Bury Road, as a “high quality and attractive residential development” designed to “create links with the surrounding area, create a village heart” while preserving trees and landscape features.

A public consultation event was held in May 2012, where residents addressed a number of points, including fears that the development would be “estate”-like, “monotonous” and could create a “ghetto” of empty, unwanted houses.

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A summary and response to the concerns was sent to Kentford Parish Council and is attached to the application.

A spokesman for the developer said “there is an aspiration to create a site that has strong connectivity, beautiful architecture, distinctive character, natural features and will be a desirable, vibrant place to live.”

He added: “If this is achieved then it is not anticipated that houses would remain unsold.”

It was also revealed that discussions will be taking place between the developer and Suffolk County Council about the capacity of nearby schools.

A spokesman said: “If there is inadequate capacity, it may be necessary for the developer to make financial contributions towards upgrading surrounding schools.”

The response to the consultation also said that development would take place outside flood plains but culverts and ponds would be built to prevent problems on the Bury Road.

It added that a transport assessment has been carried out, the scope of which was agreed with the county council, in response to concern about increased traffic on Bury Road and queuing at junctions.

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