Planners back vision for 60 new homes in Stradbroke

The site is located to the south of New Street in Stradbroke Picture: GOOGLE

The site is located to the south of New Street in Stradbroke Picture: GOOGLE - Credit: GOOGLE

Plans to build dozens of new homes in Stradbroke are set for approval – despite concerns the development could harm the local environment.

The proposal, to be considered tomorrow by a Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) committee, will bring “economic and social benefits” that outweigh any harm to the environment, according to a report compiled by council officers.

Developers hope to build up to 60 brand new homes on land to the south of New Street, located to the west of the village centre.

The application site is divided up into two areas, with the northern portion of 2.5 hectares proposed for the housing development, and the southern portion of 1.6 hectares earmarked for a recreational area to complement existing community playing fields to the east.

Having considered input from key authorities, such as Highways England, The Environment Agency, and the relevant county and parish councils, representatives for MSDC have recommended the plans for approval by councillors – as long as a number of key demands are met.

Subject to Stradbroke’s Neighbourhood Plan, adopted last month, the development should offer 35% affordable housing, or up to 21 homes – to cater for people who would like to stay in the village but are struggling to get on the property ladder.

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The officers stressed on-site provision of an open space for the public, as well as play equipment, should also be secured.

In addition, developers should offer a financial contribution towards improvements to existing bus stops adjacent to the site on New

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Street, including wheelchair-accessible kerbs and a pedestrian crossing point to the bus stop on the north side of the road.

The plans have been recommended for approval despite some concern that the development will have an adverse impact on the local environment.

While the proposed site lies 50 metres outside of the village conservation area, the council’s landscape consultant advised there “will be harm resulting from the loss of open countryside”.

The report states: “Even taking into account the mitigation advised and indicated by substantial landscape planting that will be required by condition, landscape harm falls on the negative side of the planning balance. As does the loss of agricultural land.”

Several members of the public also expressed their concerns – citing traffic problems, parking demand and increased strain on public services as reasons for their objection.

Mary Thompson, of Queen Street, said: “We have lived in this village for the past 28 years and have witnessed the influx of traffic increase to an unacceptable level especially on Queen Street. On occasions it has taken us 10 minutes just to get out of our drive.

“We feel sad that this lovely village will be taken over by more housing, more concrete and even more people. The surrounding areas will all be affected as Stradbroke is already the main route through to Diss, Harleston, Eye and the coast.

“We moved to this village, because it was in a conservation are and what seemed to be an idyllic village. The views that are on the side of New Street when approaching the village will be totally spoilt.”

Tony Hales, of Wilby Road, added: “I love Stradbroke and Suffolk and am against losing our green countryside and arable land, which is what Suffolk is about.”

Many also mentioned sightings of great crested news, bats and water voles nearby.

However, planners concluded the proposal will bring “significant social and economic benefits” which will likely outweigh any adverse impact on the environment.

With regard to traffic issues, the report said: “The Highways Authority does not object to the proposed access junction arrangement. Network capacity at this location is considered sufficient to absorb the likely traffic generated by the development.”

It added: “Should acceptable estate road layout and parking provision be secured by way of reserved matters then the development proposal is considered acceptable in terms of highway safety and convenience considerations.”

The plans will be considered by members of the Mid Suffolk Development Control Committee B on Wednesday, April 24 at 9.30am.

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