115 new homes in village approved
PUBLISHED: 15:51 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:51 24 June 2020
Plans to extend the village of Bramford with 115 homes have been given the green light, despite objections from hundreds of villagers.
Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee approved the plans at its meeting on Wednesday morning by six votes to two, which will see greenfield land off Fitzgerald Road developed for 115 properties.
Those proposals, lodged by Hopkins Homes, include 40 affordable houses.
Simon Bryan, development director of Hopkins Homes, said: “We are pleased our proposal has been approved by Mid Suffolk District Council and we thank the council for taking the time to review and update the initial report.
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“This development will help to solve the critical housing shortage locally and nationally and will comprise of 115 high quality new homes in a variety of different sizes and styles, including 30 affordable and 10 shared ownership homes.
“The development will contribute over £215,000 towards early years education provision and £315,000 towards highways and transport improvement schemes for the area.
“This development will also create a number of jobs through the construction of the homes and we look forward to working closely with the community throughout the development.”
While the land is outside the village boundary, it is included in the emerging local plan for housing use.
Previous intentions to build up to 175 homes on the land have been dramatically scaled back, with the development including four hectares of public open space.
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Chris Smith from the applicants added that it was in an “attractive landscape” and would be a “positive visual enhancement” to the southern entrance of the village.
But the proposals had attracted a swathe of opposition, including 597 public objections as well as concerns from both Bramford and Sproughton parish councils.
Objector Caroline Wolton said 512 homes had already been approved at the north end of the village since 2015, and pointed to the council’s five year land supply which meant it was “beyond policy requirement and not currently needed”.
She added that the land was used for arable farming, recreation and wildlife and was “of huge value to the community”.
Bramford Parish Council clerk Diana Stroh said plans for 13 homes on the land had been rejected in 2002 because it was a “visual intrusion to the detriment of the rural character” and was a reason which still applied today.
Councillor James Caston, ward councillor for the village, said Bramford was “open-minded to development” but these plans were “completely unacceptable to them”.
Planning officers had recommended the proposals for approval ahead of the meeting.
Committee chairman Matthew Hicks said: “This decision was not an easy one to reach, as the committee was made aware of concerns from local residents and Bramford Parish Council.
“However, after much consideration we believe the benefits of this development outweigh any potential harm, provided the applicant meets the conditions set out.
“Plans include an abundance of public open space and a new children’s play area – ensuring our commitment to bright and healthy futures for our communities is met.”
“The development will also provide much-needed affordable housing, and contribute financially towards public bus services in the area, supporting our council’s sustainable transport ambitions.”
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