Mendlesham: GR Warehousing to take Mid Suffolk District Council to appeal over homes plan

Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market.

Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market. - Credit: Archant

A warehouse firm which wants to redevelop its site into new homes is challenging a council’s decision to reject the plans.

GR Warehousing, based in Mendlesham, near Stowmarket, wants to relocate to more modern premises closer to the A140.

An outline planning application to demolish the existing warehouse and storage buildings in Old Station Road and build 51 homes was submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council in January.

But Nick Fairman, agent for the firm, said it was challenging the council as it had failed to make a decision on the plans within the allotted time frame.

A statement released on behalf of GR Warehousing said: “The council failed to determine the application within the 13 week period allowed for major applications and so we decided to appeal the application. The Planning Inspectorate has confirmed that the appeal will be determined by way of a public inquiry on the November 5.”

The company argues the application would mean fewer heavy-goods vehicles would travel through the village.

It also claimed more than 70% of people in a public consultation said they thought new housing was needed in Mendlesham.

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In the statement the company added that the site is a “sustainable and appropriate” location for housing.

But a council spokesman claimed the company had not “engaged in discussions” before submitting the application and there were a “number of planning issues” which had to be examined.

Planning portfolio holder at Mid Suffolk, councillor John Whitehead, said: “It is clear that several parts of the application were fundamentally contrary to a number of Mid Suffolk policies, including our Core Strategy.

“These included the fact the entire development was proposed outside of any adopted town or village boundary despite a five year supply of land being available in Mid Suffolk; that there was no affordable housing in the proposed development; and the impact on the setting of a nearby Grade-II star listed building.”

The council said no site for relocation had been submitted.