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Final decision made on 126 Eye homes pushed back because of poor highways plans

PUBLISHED: 07:30 14 March 2019

The site planned for 126 homes in Eye. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The site planned for 126 homes in Eye. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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Plans for 126 homes on greenfield land in Eye, Suffolk, which were pushed back because of flawed highways assessments have now been rejected entirely.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee opted to defer the proposal in January because dashcam footage by planning officers showed the planned access route was too narrow, despite Suffolk Highways’ consultation response saying there would not be a severe impact.

On Wednesday, revised plans were discussed which included removing the Maple Way access, but were refused by the committee.

Matthew Hicks, chairman of Mid Suffolk’s development control committee A, said: “Following our previous deferral of this application to seek further details, we received a number of changes to the application as well as additional information.

“The committee spent some time examining the application and measuring up the evidence.

Matthew Hicks, chairman of the committee, said the panel was unable to grant permission because of highways issues and impact on the landscape. Picture: GREGG BROWNMatthew Hicks, chairman of the committee, said the panel was unable to grant permission because of highways issues and impact on the landscape. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“While it was a finely balanced decision, the committee ultimately felt unable to grant these proposals permission for several reasons, including the impact the development would have on the local highways, the nearby heritage assets and the Special Landscape Area in which the site is located.”

Plans by developers Peter, Sylvia and Andrew West and Future Habitats Ltd had already been rejected once before, with that application currently the subject of a planning appeal process.

The latest application was a fresh bid.

Jon Betts from the Eye residents group that has been campaigning against the plans, said the refusal was “fantastic news”.

“We are really pleased – it’s the best outcome we could have had,” he said.

“There is some worry there in the background [if the developers decide to appeal the decision] but the committee rose above it and they did the right thing.”

While the proposed access was an issue during January’s meeting, the highways concerns this time around were centred on the impact on the surrounding roads as well as how it would affect the rural landscape.

The deferral prompted questions over how stringent highways consultation responses had been, with Mr Hicks at the time saying that the committee knew it was “far from fine”.

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