Disagreement over plans for 65 homes near old bacon factory
PUBLISHED: 06:24 06 August 2020
A decision on whether 65 new homes will be built near an old bacon factory in Elmswell has been delayed - after councillors disagreed on whether to give the plans the go-ahead.
The proposed new homes, which would be built to the west of the former factory in Elmswell, were brought to Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee B on Wednesday, August 5.
Plans for the homes had already been unanimously refused by the council’s planning committee in February, amid concerns over school spaces.
However, the homes were brought back to the table following a subsequent appeal, with developer Harrow Estates referring to the original ruling to as “unreasonable”.
A vote of councillors on the committee produced a tiebreak - but chairman Kathie Guthrie refused to use her deciding vote, meaning the decision will now be delayed.
In its application, Harrow Estates said the proposed mix of dwellings would be built to meet “identified local needs”, including 22 affordable homes.
It also said it would help the district to meet housing targets, while making “significant” impacts on improving local lives.
However, concerns have been raised over the capacity of the Church Road and School Road junction by the highways authority, although alternative routes have been put forward to relieve congestion.
A proposed footpath and cycle way connecting Elmswell and Woolpit, over the A14, is also planned in the hopes of easing traffic for those heading to a new school.
In the council’s Infrastructure Delivery Plan, the area’s existing primary school would be expanded to 420 places, while a new school of the same size would also be built in Woolpit – at a combined cost of £5million.
However Rowland Warboys, Green councillor for Gislingham, said the bacon factory plans were taking development in Elmswell “one step too far”.
He said: “If we voted to support this application, we would be voting against our own planning policies.
“The plans would expand Elmswell further than what is being strategically planned for. I don’t think Highways, nor Suffolk County Council’s education department, have come up with convincing outcomes for future travel.
“It is going to be a congested junction, and the proposals would take it even further.
“We don’t have existing infrastructure, concrete infrastructure, in place to support further development.”
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