‘No Rhyme nor reason’ – Planning row flares up after homes built too tall

People living in Long Row in Leiston pictured during a previous protest over the new housing Picture

People living in Long Row in Leiston pictured during a previous protest over the new housing Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: sarah lucy brown

People living along a narrow Suffolk track have raised further complaints about a new housing development – years after the row first kicked off.

Residents of Long Row in Leiston have been angered after two semi-detached homes were built taller than permitted, which they say blocked solar panels and resulted in drainage problems for neighbouring properties.

Despite receiving more than 100 objections, MoneyPenny Developments Ltd’s application to “vary the conditions” on the homes was approved by Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC).

Kieron Kimmings, who lives nearby, said he was angered by the decision – particularly as it did not go to the planning committee.

“There’s no rhyme nor reason to the planning system,” he said. “The whole application has been a catalogue of errors and it seems the planning department is just there to back developers.”

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Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council had also objected to the application saying the height issue led to a “host of issues”.

The latest concerns follow a series of complaints dating back years. In 2017, homeowners claimed they were made to feel like criminals when police were called to prevent a breach of the peace during the laying of the development’s sewerage works.

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Residents claimed the developer had no right to build under the track, which is unadopted and has no registered owner.

In 2016, residents had used scrap cars to bloc off the track in a bid to stop the development getting underway. The homeowners claim the narrow track is unsuitable for housing and should never have been approved.

SCDC said the decision to determine the application without the planning committee was in accordance with its constitution and followed proper process..

“The matter was not referred to planning committee because it was considered the level of increase in the height of the property was not of such significance to justify the refusal of planning permission,” a spokesman added.

Architects for the project said: “The developer approached Let’s Design Architecture after purchasing the site with the benefit of planning approval for the two properties. We worked with the planning department to address any issues arising and the planning officer made an informed decision based on the information presented to him.”

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