Shortage of sites available for future new housing developments in Mid Suffolk

New homes could be built in Mendlesham

New homes could be built in Mendlesham - Credit: Getty Images

Opposition councillors in Mid Suffolk believe rural areas could be at risk of unwanted development after it was revealed there was no longer a five-year supply of land approved for new homes.

The conservative-led Mid Suffolk District Council has to demonstrate a need for about 2,300 homes during the next five years, but currently has a shortfall of around 300 homes.

Under government rules, if authorities cannot demonstrate this supply, local plans are set aside until the shortfall is exceeded.

Opposition leader Andrew Stringer said: “It appears our rural communities are already witnessing unusual numbers of speculative planning applications at the moment, and these applications are directly challenging Mid Suffolk’s five-year land supply status, now this appears to be inadequate.

“This could bring forward development in rural communities that is unplanned and unwanted.

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“We have been putting forward positive proposals to avoid this for more than two years now, and the Conservatives have thrown aside our proposals to recruit planners and bring forward brownfield development in our district.”

Fellow opposition councillor John Matthissen said: “It would be tragic if our green fields pay the price.”

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A Mid Suffolk District Council spokeswoman said the latest information indicated housing land has not been coming forward for development as expected.

She added: “To redress this we are now working with landowners and housebuilders to bring forward sustainable proposals for developments that provide appropriate infrastructure for the community on land we have not yet allocated through our plan-making process.

“As we carry out this work we would like to reassure people we will continue to ensure that any new scheme coming forward for consideration does not have significant adverse impacts that would outweigh their benefits for the local community.”

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