Go ahead given for 50 homes on Bacton Middle School site
- Credit: HAMSON BARRON SMITH/SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL
Plans to transform the empty Bacton Middle School site into 50 homes have been approved – with money set to be pumped back into the area for an expanded primary school.
Suffolk County Council lodged a planning application with Mid Suffolk District Council for the site off Wyverstone Road, after the school closed in July 2015.
The proposals were originally for around 150 homes, but was scaled back after concerns were raised by locals during earlier consultations.
The county council said it would help redevelop an unused area of land, and safeguard the option of moving the primary school into the old school buildings there for future expansion.
On Wednesday Mid Suffolk’s development control committee unanimously approved outline planning permission.
A county council spokeswoman said: “We are very pleased with today’s decision.
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“We have worked closely with both Bacton and Wyverstone parish councils on this scheme to make sure it reflects the needs of the growing community.
“Suffolk County Council will now begin to market the site in anticipation of finding a buyer to develop the final scheme.”
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Alongside the homes, 13 of which will be affordable housing, a 3G football pitch games area will also be included.
During the committee meeting, Joy Stodart from the county council said the potential for the primary school to move there was expected to cost around £2-3million. It is understood that funds from the development would go towards this.
Ward councillor Roy Barker said: “I welcome it. There has been a lot worked out behind the scenes with officers, Suffolk County Council and the parish, and we have got it nearly right.
“[Part of] the site is identified for school use now and we are planning for the future.”
Councillor Jill Wilshaw for the Bacton and Old Newton ward added that it had become a “real eyesore” for the community.
Outline permission has already been granted for 64 homes on a separate parcel of land off Wyverstone Road, while an appeal has been lodged over the refusal of 81 homes off Church Road.
The approved developments alone are expected to generate an additional 50-70 primary school pupils, according to Bacton Parish Council.