Mendlesham: Village will not get 56 new homes and £120,000 community money as proposal is rejected

Planning permission for new homes has been denied at GR Warehousing in Mendlesham

Planning permission for new homes has been denied at GR Warehousing in Mendlesham

New homes will not be built in a village after planning chiefs voted against the proposals.

Fifty-six properties were put forward for the GR Warehousing site in Mendlesham – with the existing buildings demolished.

But Mid Suffolk district councillors disagreed with the village parish council which argued for the proposals to be granted.

The parish was set to receive £120,000 to use in the community – with a further £100,000 for education in the area. This was money coming from the developer’s fees attached to the proposal.

But Mid Suffolk planners objected, arguing that the site is outside the village boundary – contravening their policy of not permitting new development in the countryside.

John Pateman-Gee, the council’s senior planning officer, said: “While some benefits have been offered, these fail to meet the burden of development itself or provide further public benefit beyond the development’s own harm to be considered exceptional. On this basis the development is concluded to be unsustainable.

“No significant public benefit for the redevelopment of this site has been offered to consider the loss of this employment site not to set aside the harm to the setting of a Grade II* Listed building.”

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Michael Exley, parish councillor, said the parish had opposed an earlier application for the site because it was “not “sustainable”.

But the new proposals were backed by the parish and Andrew Stringer, the village’s district councillor.

Mr Exley said: “The parish council felt after much deliberation that the application fell closer to the sustainable criteria.

“We have to support the application with certain reservations made clear to the planning officer; we hope on balance you will agree with us.”

Nick Fairman, agent for the applicant, GR Warehousing, said there was only one person currently employed on the site.

He said: “This is the most efficient use of the land in a sustainable location to minimise using greenfield site. It’s the only brownfield site in the village that provides an opportunity for residential development.”

But there were concerns over the amount of money put forward for infrastructure.

Suffolk County Council had asked for almost £147,000 for education – with at least £316,000 called for community use.

A proposal to approve the homes was voted down by six votes to four. A second vote to refuse the plans was agreed by six votes to four.