Planning inquiry over 138 Melton homes scrapped after developer drops appeal

Land in Yarmouth Road, Melton, where outline plans had been lodged to create 138 homes, 60-bed care

Land in Yarmouth Road, Melton, where outline plans had been lodged to create 138 homes, 60-bed care home and assisted living. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

A public inquiry due to get underway in May over controversial plans to build 138 homes in Melton has been dropped after developers withdrew the appeal.

Planners at Suffolk Coastal District Council refused outline plans for the scheme in April last year, which aimed to build 138 homes, a 60-bed care home and 50 assisted living apartments in land off Yarmouth Road.

The application attracted more than 150 objections, and while the council did admit that the scheme would provide affordable housing, open market homes, and long-term nursing employment, it differed to the council’s own development plan.

A key consideration was also the neighbourhood plan devised by Melton Parish Council, which the proposals did not adhere to.

Developers argued that the council couldn’t demonstrate a fiver-year housing supply and therefore should have approved the plans, but the council said that it was an unsustainable development.

An appeal was lodged to the Planning Inspectorate, with a four day inquiry set to begin on May 1.

Now, it has been confirmed the appeal has been withdrawn as of March 19 and the inquiry will not go ahead.

A reason for the appeal being withdrawn was not disclosed.

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Buffy Barrington, Melton Parish Council’s chairman of the planning and transport committee said it was “brilliant news” for the community.

She said: “They apparently recognize there has been a significant shift in housing land supply in the area and that also significant weight will be given to the new Melton neighbourhood plan.

“The new draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) also puts more weight on neighbourhood plans that have been made and our district council need only prove they have a three year supply of land in an area where an approved neighbourhood plan has allocated development.”

She added that it meant the parish council had “a much stronger case to argue against any future applications which are totally unsuitable and unsustainable.”

A spokesman from Richard Brown Planning, the agents on behalf of applicants Christchurch Land and Estates (Melton) Ltd was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

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