Elmswell 240 homes dubbed “fit for Luton” finally get approval after redesign
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Developers behind plans for 240 homes in Elmswell which were originally likened to “Cell Block H” have been hailed for their work in improving proposals.
The application submitted by Crest Nicholson to develop land off Wetherden Road had been deferred twice over the summer amid concerns from Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee over the road layout, design of homes and tandem parking.
Outline plans were approved in March, but when the designs of the homes were brought to the committee in August, members dubbed them as reminiscent of “Cell Block H” and “might fit in Luton but not in Elmswell”.They also said that the tandem parking – one car parked behind another on a drive – would cause homeowners to park on the road, which could cause disruption.
Since then, Crest Nicholson has worked on the designs and reduced the amount of tandem parking, ensuring they are at the end of cul-de-sacs.
The plans were unanimously approved at Wednesday’s committee.
Matthew Hicks, committee chairman said: “It’s a lesson that shows that actually by working together through a decision made in this room, and the feelings [voiced] in this room that outside this room we can work something up that’s better.
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“They chose to work with us on a proposal we feel is more acceptable and more importantly the community finds acceptable.”
Ward councillor John Levantis said the plans had been transformed from something that was originally unwelcome into something much better.
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It is not yet clear when work may begin on site, but it is understood it represents a significant step in the district re-establishing its five-year housing supply.
Neil Kelly, who spoke on behalf of the applicants, said: “As an award winning developer we were naturally disappointed at the previous deferrals in addition to some of the comments.
“Design in particular is something we pride ourselves on.
“Crest has spent the time revising the scheme and I hope you agree it’s a high quality scheme today.”
A spokesman for Crest Nicholson added: “We’re very pleased with the committee’s unanimous decision to approve our updated proposed scheme at Elmswell.
“In particular, the chairman’s final comment that the scheme is an example of what can be achieved when all parties work collaboratively was excellent feedback.
“This decision will now enable us to deliver 240 much-needed homes for the area and a substantial park for the community to enjoy, creating a high-quality new area for the existing village.”