Community leaders asked to approve 55 new homes for village
- Credit: Picture: ANDREW HENDRY
Plans for 55 new homes at Melton look set to go-ahead - despite objections from villagers and highways chiefs.
Warburg Dawson Partnership is seeking consent for the project off St Andrews Place, part of a larger site allocated - and agreed in the Melton Neighbourhood Plan - for a mixed-use development.
Ninety-one objections have been received on grounds including access and worries over traffic congestion and danger, loss of habitat on the site; increased pollution, noise and disturbance; and loss of trees.
Melton Parish Council wants permission refused and said current policy envisages a comprehensive development package for what remains of the 23 acres of land off Wilford Bridge Road, including homes, employment space and retention of the low-lying wetland as community greenspace.
The community space could one day be used for a lake, communal gardens, allotments/community growing space, cafe, and a children's play space and potentially a community farm and after school club
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The council said the current proposal meant a piecemeal development which delivers only the housing "without any of the associated community benefits and will make satisfactory development of the remainder of the site much more difficult to achieve".
Suffolk County Council highways has also objected. It says the Melton cross-roads suffer from congestion and the new homes will impact upon the junction, and increase delay, particularly on The Street.
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Highways has called for measures to improve sustainable travel opportunities for the occupiers of the development and reduce the need for car use.
East Suffolk Council planning case officer Rachel Smith said: "While there are elements of the proposal that are not ideal, mainly that the application is being made independently of the remainder of the site, as the site forms part of the Neighbourhood Plan allocation, it is not considered that the principle of development is objectionable.
"There are technical details still to be resolved in relation to ecology and drainage; however, once these have been overcome, officers consider that the scheme should be recommended for approval."
She said the Riduna Park development meant the precedent for a piecemeal development of the whole allocation site has already been set.
The planning committee south on March 30 is recommended to approve the new homes providing officers can iron out the remaining issues of concern.