Proposals for 266 new homes in Needham Market – planning application goes to Mid Suffolk

Residents examine the proposals for the homes in Needham Market at an earlier exhibition

Residents examine the proposals for the homes in Needham Market at an earlier exhibition - Credit: Archant

The blueprint for a major new housing development in a market town has been put forward.

A total of 266 new homes could be built if permission is granted for the Lake Park development at Needham Market’s former chalk quarry.

Hopkin Homes would construct the homes, near the Lion Barn Industrial Estate. One of the town’s district councillors, Wendy Marchant, has had a guided tour of the site.

“The homes planned look very nice actually, the houses at the top would have a beautiful view of the countryside because they are quite high up,” she said.

“Of course we want to make sure we have the necessary facilities – including health because already the car park is not really big enough. We need to make sure there are enough spaces in the schools and we have the infrastructure to deal with it.”

One concern the town council has expressed is to make sure the development is linked to the town centre.

Within the development there would be a mixture of designs including detached town houses, smaller mews houses, bungalows and apartments.

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There would be 239 homes built – with a further 27 affordable properties constructed. The design brief, put together by property consultants Bidwells, says the development could affect wildlife.

It says: “The proposed development is considered likely to impact flora and fauna currently on the site. This includes the loss of calcareous grassland currently used by grass snakes and slow worms, bat roosts located in buildings scheduled for demolition and disturbance to badgers where a new access road will be built.”

A variety of measures to mitigate would be put in place, including bird and bat boxes, as well as an exclusion fence to prevent reptiles being destroyed during construction.

Simon Bryan, Hopkin Homes’ development director, said the footpath and cycle routes into the town from the development would be improved.

He said: “The principle was to look to assist the district council in dealing with their housing strategy – Needham Market is recognised as an area for future growth.”

Now the plans have been submitted, Mid Suffolk District Council is expected to make a decision next February.