Needham Market: Concern homes plan would create “urban sprawl” into countryside

Residents in Needham Market are angry about a new proposed development in Hill House Lane.

Residents in Needham Market are angry about a new proposed development in Hill House Lane. - Credit: Archant

The rural character of a Suffolk town will be “significantly” affected if proposals to build almost 40 new homes get the go-ahead, according to protestors.

The proposed location where 38 new homes could be built in Needham Market

The proposed location where 38 new homes could be built in Needham Market - Credit: Archant

Concern has been mounting ever since the plans for 38 homes off Hill House Lane, Needham Market, were put forward just after Christmas.

A Facebook group called “Friends of Needham Market Countryside”, objecting to the development, has more than 250 members.

Farmer Peter Haylock, who owns the land, gave a presentation to Needham Market Town Council on Wednesday night, which around 40 people attended.

He said: “Residents should have known that it was a site made available for development by asking me about it. The development could provide much needed affordable housing.”


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Leader of the council’s planning section, councillor Xy Stansfield, questioned whether it was guaranteed that 35% of the homes would be “affordable”.

Chartered town planner, Phil Cobbold, who has drawn up the proposals, said the quota of affordable homes would be written into the planning permission.

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Peter Le Gryf, who said he had 35 years experience in planning, spoke on behalf of the concerned residents. He said: “The residential development proposed would not be seen as a natural extension to the existing settlement boundary, but an urban sprawl into the open countryside.

“It is considered that the development would result in having a significant impact upon the open character of the site and the area and would unacceptably change the rural character of this part of Needham Market.”

There are also concerns over access and the development could increase traffic in the area. Mr Haylock said any profit coming from the sale of the land would go to charity. He added that more than £420,000 would come from the development in developer’s fees.

Outline plans have been sent to Mid Suffolk District Council. It is due to make a decision by March 28.

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