Needham Market: Homes plan for chalk quarry site examined by residents

Residents examine the proposals for up to 300 new homes in Needham Market called the Lake Park devel

Residents examine the proposals for up to 300 new homes in Needham Market called the Lake Park development - Credit: Archant

Proposals for up to 300 new homes as part of a new development in a Suffolk town have been presented to the community.

Residents had the chance to examine the plans for the homes which would be built at the Needham Market Chalk Quarry in Ipswich Road.

Planing manager John Baines, from Hopkins Homes, said the 40-acre site which has been quarried since 1930, would be challenging to develop.

“There’s a lot of work involved to bring it from a working quarry that can be developed,” he said.

“There’s a certain amount of regrading of the land – shifting material from within the site. There’s piles of chalk materials which are essentially in the wrong place. It is a time-consuming and an expensive exercise.”

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Wendy Marchant, district councillor for the town, was at yesterday’s exhibition for the development, which is called Lake Park.

She said: “The early feeling is that some people have various concerns around whether the doctor’s surgery and schools have enough capacity to cope.

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“But there’s a need for more homes everywhere as the Government is giving 95% mortgages so more people need to be able to buy a home.”

Mr Baines said Hopkins Homes would be working with the district and county council to ensure there was sufficient infrastructure to support the development.

At the centre of the site, which will provide one- to two-bedroom apartments through to four-bedroom houses, will be a lake with a surrounding “village green”.

Town clerk Kevin Hunter said the consultation had been “very positive”.

But he added there had been initial concerns that the council did not want a “satellite development” which lacked links to the town centre.

Hopkins Homes has said it will provide a new cycle way and two footpaths to join the development to the town.

A planning application for the homes is likely to be submitted in April next year.

Mid Suffolk District Council would then be expected to make a decision in spring 2015, with the first homes constructed at the end of that year.

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