Purdis Farm: Homes on showground project set for go-ahead

Suffolk Show 2013.

Suffolk Show 2013. - Credit: Archant

Proposals to sell off part of the site of the county’s biggest annual event to provide land for up to 300 homes are set to be approved.

Suffolk Show 2013.

Suffolk Show 2013. - Credit: Archant

Development of 22 acres of Trinity Park – home of the Suffolk Show, which attracts 90,000 visitors a year – will generate cash to improve the venue and in turn bring benefits to the rural economy.

The Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) wants to use the land in Felixstowe Road, Purdis Farm, to extend the Warren Heath estate.

SAA says the cash from the land sale would be ploughed back into Trinity Park and has submitted a masterplan showing its future plans.

Suffolk Coastal planning case officer, Liz Beighton, said: “This document sets out a framework for the development of Trinity Park over a period of years.

“The masterplan reflects SAA’s vision to create the country’s very best agricultural showground – best for the show, best for the agricultural community and best for Suffolk.”

In a report to councillors – who are recommended to approve the housing development on Thursday – the importance of the Suffolk Show to the economy, and also the wide range of other events, attended by around 25,000 people a year, are outlined.

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Ms Beighton said the need to invest in showgrounds was widely recognised by many agricultural associations. Some shows had already ceased, including the Royal Show.

She said: “This was due to a variety of reasons, but at least part of that was that time away from the farm is difficult, so it has to be worthwhile, so shows have to be constantly refreshed and relevant.”

To help raise as much as possible for the masterplan, it has been agreed to reduce the amount of affordable housing from 30% to 10%, but the developer would pay £1.9million towards school places for children who would live in the homes.

Brightwell, Foxhall and Purdis Farm Parish Council has objected with a number of concerns, including increased traffic on the A1156.