Go-ahead given for 300 new homes in Woolpit
- Credit: MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL/GOO
Detailed plans to build 300 new homes in a Suffolk village have been agreed.
Work is expected to start on the site between the A14 and The Street in Woolpit later this year after applicants Hopkins Homes finalised conditions with Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC).
Planning permission was originally granted in February this year, despite dozens of public objections amid fears such a large development would damage the character of the village.
Full planning permission has now been granted following the agreement of Section 106 developer contributions of more than £1 million.
The development will incorporate 60 affordable homes, of which 45 will be affordable rental properties.
The remaining 15 homes will provide opportunities for shared ownership to help people get on the housing ladder to buy their own home.
All the homes will range in size - accommodating first time buyers, families and local residents wishing to downsize.
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The development will feature public open spaces, including land to the east of the site to accommodate the future expansion of Woolpit Cricket Club.
Land will also be gifted to increase capacity at the village hall car park.
Suffolk County Council has provided land for use as the site of a new 420-place primary school, together with a 90-place pre-school centre.
As part of the agreement Hopkins will fund road infrastructure projects, including the introduction of a new roundabout on the interchange between the A14 and A1088.
The plans also include a commitment to finance local sustainable transport in Woolpit, with the allocation of £15,000 to construct or improve nearby bus stops, plus funding towards the creation of improved cycle and pedestrian links between Woolpit and Elmswell, which is on the rail network.
The development will also include multiple electric vehicle charging points and measures to protect local wildlife.
David Burn, the council’s cabinet member for planning, said he believed the benefits of the development far outweighed any potential harm.
“An application of this size is never decided on lightly. Outline planning permission was authorised after lengthy debate by Mid Suffolk District Council’s Development Control Committee before final permission was granted.
“I agree with the conclusion Councillors reached, and I believe that the benefits of allowing this site to come forward promptly far outweigh any potential harm.
“This development will provide a substantial amount of much needed affordable housing, meeting our ambition for Mid Suffolk residents to have the option to remain local.
“It will also facilitate the opportunity to provide a vital new school for the village, as well as land for use by the local cricket club and village hall – benefiting the whole community, not just residents of the development.
“In addition to this, the contributions to highways and cycling infrastructure will play an important part in improving connectivity for the village.
“Our council is very appreciative of the efforts of Woolpit residents in developing a neighbourhood plan, as we continue to work with our communities to deliver the homes needed to meet anticipated population growth in Mid Suffolk.
“We recognise Woolpit Parish Council’s recent decision to modify their plan, to reflect the examiner’s recommendations to them, which will help to support the district’s strategy for future homes.”