Leiston: Proposal for 119 new homes on edge of town set to be discussed

Suffolk Coastal District Council approves plans for new homes in Leiston and Wickham Market

Suffolk Coastal District Council approves plans for new homes in Leiston and Wickham Market - Credit: Archant

A SCHEME to build a large housing estate on the edge of a Suffolk town will soon be discussed by planning chiefs.

Hopkins Homes wants to erect 119 properties on land to the south of Leiston on Aldeburgh Road.

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s (SCDC) north area development control sub committee will discuss the plans next Wednesday. The scheme, which abuts the neighbouring parish of Aldringham-cum-Thorpe, would comprise 80 properties for the open market and 39 affordable homes.

SCDC has received objections from Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council, Aldringham-cum-Thorpe Parish Council and 22 residents. The main concern centres around the location of the development, which is a greenfield site outside the town boundary. There are fears that it could lead to the blurring of Leiston and Aldringham, while the town council believes the application to be premature in light of its emerging Neighbourhood Plan - jeopardising residents’ ability to influence how their community grows in the future.

It is also felt the local infrastructure will not be able to cope with that level of housing, while it could also affect the ability to evacuate residents if there was an emergency at Sizewell B nuclear power station. The question of a possible Sizewell C has also been raised.

Developers believe the site is the most appropriate and say it would not be harmful to the surrounding area, while also going some way to providing the “identified housing need”.

A report to councillors acknowledges current guidelines advise against a housing development of this size so close to a nuclear site. However, it says the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has confirmed this is proposed to change. The report also makes clear it is unlikely the ONR will approve the development until the new Emergency Plan for Sizewell has been published in June and it is shown a housing scheme of this size can be safely accommodated.

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But it concludes that on balance, while a “clear departure to the development plan”, the scheme is acceptable and sustainable and is recommended for approval - so long as the issue of the Sizewell Emergency Plan is satisfactorily resolved and the applicant agrees matters surrounding affordable housing, on site play space, off site sports provision and library contributions.

If emergency planning matters lead to a refusal the application will be referred back to the council, the report adds.