New homes provide £10m bonus for Saxmundham, but town leaders say it’s ‘not enough’

Developers say hundreds of new homes in an east Suffolk market town will provide a £10million boost to the economy – despite community leaders’ claims that more should be spent on infrastructure.

Town and district councillor Marian Andrews said Saxmundham’s infrastructure was “creaking” and called for more provision for education as local primary schools are fast reaching capacity.

Improvements were needed to roads to curb congestion plus extra health care facilities would be needed in the future.

A new scheme for 170 homes on Church Hill will contribute £500,000 to school and library places, but councillor Michael Gower said had it been submitted a few months down the line after the Community Infrastructure Levy comes in, it would have been £1.8m.

The project, which will include 56 affordable properties, is the second phase of Hopkins Homes’ development of the site – the first created 145 new homes, including 49 affordable properties.

Robert Eburne, planning manager for Hopkins Homes, said over a 10-year period the scheme would bring nearly £10m into the economy – the combined value of New Homes Bonus, council tax, and contributions to the community.

He said: “We are delighted to have received planning permission to build this next phase of housing in Saxmundham and help to meet the acute affordable housing shortage in the area.

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“As members of the Suffolk community, we are committed to meeting the need for new housing in a way that preserves the unique character and quality of the communities in which we live.

“Through this new development we will contribute approximately £500,000 to the local community to help enhance the education and community provisions, such as library services. This is in addition to more than £600,000 being contributed in the first phase.”

Mr Eburne said during the course of the development, Hopkins Homes will support and sustain a large number of jobs across the region.

The new development will also provide more than £1.53m in New Homes Bonus payments to Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk County Council. This is in addition to more than £1.3m coming from the first development.

Suffolk Coastal will also receive an estimated £450,000 each year in additional council tax contributions from the completed developments.