Plans to build 138 homes in Stowmarket unanimously rejected by council planning committee

The view from Poplar Hill, the road where the development will be built. Picture: IAN CLARK

The view from Poplar Hill, the road where the development will be built. Picture: IAN CLARK - Credit: Ian Clark

Controversial plans to build 138 homes on the edge of Stowmarket have been unanimously rejected by planners to the joy of the local community.

Poplar Hill Stowmarket Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Poplar Hill Stowmarket Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

Councillors were urged to refuse the plans, which were "almost identical" to a previous unsuccessful application on the same site for 160 homes in September 2018, by planning officers before Mid Suffolk district counci's planning committee at Endeavour House, Ipswich.

The plans had been criticised by many local residents, with 256 people expressing their objections to the proposals online and more than 1,600 signing a community led petition.

Matthew Hicks, chair of Mid Suffolk's development control committee, said: "I think for me it all stacks up as to why we should refuse this application. For me there are a few key things, the Stowmarket area action plan is very clear as to what is expected so that's a very simple one for me.

"The site of special scientific interest (SSSI) of Combs Wood I think is particularly significant. We are trying to protect our environment and we need to recognise the importance of an SSSI and also the impact on the grade I listed church."

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During the meeting, representatives from Stowmarket Town Council, Combs Parish Council and a local campaign group raised fears over the impact any new homes would have on the surrounding landscape and the Grade I listed Church of St Mary, as well as the effect it would have on roads.

No one from developers Gladman attended the meeting and no one took the opportunity to speak in favour of the plans.

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Mr Hicks added: "I think it's extremely disappointing that an applicant that is putting in for this sort of housing has not had any sort of meeting with the parishes that are involved or with residents. I think it is really disappointing that Gladman has chosen not even to show up today, not to have the courtesy to discuss the application with us is also wrong."

Local campaign leader, Desiree Shelley, said after the meeting: "We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the meeting, particularly with the comments from the chairman.

"We are really grateful for the support we have had from local politicians."

Gladman did not reply when approached for comment.

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