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Access to planned Eye 126 homes "far from fine", says committee

PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:57 31 January 2019

The site planned for 126 homes in Eye. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The site planned for 126 homes in Eye. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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Plans for 126 homes on undeveloped land in Eye have been pushed back after councillors poured scorn on flawed road access proposals.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee opted to defer the outline application by Peter, Sylvia and Andrew West and Future Habitats Ltd, during Wednesday’s meeting.

The site has already been rejected once before, and is currently the subject of a planning appeal, with Monday’s application being a fresh bid.

The plans proposed two access points from Tuffs Road and Maple Way, which Suffolk Highways in its consultation response said would “not have a severe impact”.

But dashcam footage of the access routes revealed concerns over safety and traffic volumes at a pinch point, cyclists and pedestrians crossing and proximity to a playground.

Committee chairman Matthew Hicks said the proposed access was Committee chairman Matthew Hicks said the proposed access was "far from fine". Picture: GREGG BROWN

Councillor Matthew Hicks, chairman of the committee said councillors were unable to make a decision when the highways assessment was flawed, and opted instead to defer it in order for talks to take place between the developers, town council and resident group for a solution.

“Cars are parking on the pavement to allow cars to get past,” he said.

“We are being asked to approve something that is going to make that worse.

“Highways say it’s okay but we know on the ground that it is a problem, so we have a real dilemma. Having done a site visit we know it’s far from fine.”

Councillor Sarah Mansel added that it was “arrogant” for the developers not to have consulted with the community at any stage.

Eye Town Council pointed to the site not being in the emerging draft local plan, which had allocated brownfield sites that would enable 675 homes elsewhere across the town.

A town council spokesman after the meeting said: “Eye Town Council is relieved that Mid Suffolk District Council did not grant permission for the development of 126 homes in the town.

“In its view there were sufficient grounds for the application to have been refused.

“However it welcomes the committee’s acceptance of the town council’s submissions that the highway safety issues raised by the development are serious and were not properly examined in the application process.”

Mrs Carolyn James from the resident group added: “The residents of Eye absolutely support sustainable development, which is why the neighbourhood plan has so much support – but this isn’t part of that.”

It is not yet clear when the matter will return to committee, or when the original decision appeal will be heard.

A spokesman on behalf of the developers declined to comment on the outcome of the meeting.

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