Three east Suffolk villages oppose allocation of 150 homes by district council
- Credit: Archant
Three Suffolk villages are opposing the allocation of land for 150 homes by community leaders in Suffolk Coastal.
The site in Pettistree has been allocated in the final draft of the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan – and would more than double the village population.
The development proposed under the local plan would back on to an existing building development of 65 homes in Wickham Market, known as Wickham Place, but would be on land classed as Pettistree.
The plan, while acknowledging that the development would be within Pettistree Parish, says the land should be “considered in terms of its relationship to Wickham Market”.
Jeff Hallett, chairman of Pettistree Parish Council, said the council was particularly concerned by the provision and the impact it would have on the village, including extra traffic and the pressure on schools and doctors in the local area.
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“It’s a recipe for chaos and disaffection,” said Mr Hallett.
“We are talking about 150 new homes. Pettistree only has 85 at the moment and about 180 people.”
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Mr Hallett said the council was also concerned about the decision to reclassify Pettistree as a small village, changing the amount of housing that could be allocated.
A change in rules used by Suffolk Coastal meant Pettistree was now deemed a small village rather than countryside that it had previously been.
Pettistree is not the only parish council to be concerned about the housing plans.
Wickham Market Parish Council recently submitted its neighbourhood plan for consideration. The council was unable to include the development in its plan because it sits in the Pettistree parish.
Despite this the plan does note that it will be important for the villages “to retain their distinct identities, the two settlements are not allowed to coalesce”.
Ufford Parish Council is also worried about the impact of traffic heading south via the A12.
A spokesman for the council said: “Ufford Parish Council thinks it is sensible to develop in and around Wickham Market because of the facilities there.
“The problem is that if residents want to go south they have to come through Ufford High Street.”
Ufford would prefer to see a new exit for the A12 built at Pettistree instead to connect the B1438.
Suffolk Coastal’s response
Tony Fryatt, Suffolk Coastal Cabinet member with responsibility for Planning, said: “We believe we have created a plan which encourages a dynamic, growing economy, with developments that bring in much-needed homes and are supported by the correct infrastructure, while protecting our unique local environment.
“As a council, we have always said we welcome the right development in the right areas. This plan is an important step towards us being able to effectively avoid unwanted developments that would harm our communities or environment.
“Without the Local Plan, we would find it very difficult to reject speculative developments. We could end up with a development free for all in Suffolk Coastal that could harm all of our communities.
“There has already been extensive consultation with local stakeholders and the public to get the plan to this stage. These comments have shaped the current draft plan.
“The period for providing representations closed on Monday 25th February 2019 and the Council is working through the representations received.
“Our next milestone is to submit the representations and other documentation to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination on or before the 29th March 2019, in accordance with our published timetable.”