'We aren't desperate to build more houses' - Suffolk planning chief rejects concerns over new housing document
PUBLISHED: 11:55 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:55 31 August 2018
A Suffolk planning chief has sought to counter concerns there is a “desperate” rush to build new homes in small villages.
Tony Fryatt, who is cabinet member for planning at Suffolk Coastal District Council, made the comments at Thursday’s Brandeston parish meeting, which was held to discuss proposals for 30 more homes in the village.
The proposals are outlined in SCDC’s Draft Local Plan, which sets out a vision for development across the district up until 2036, including where 10,900 new homes might be built.
Brandeston, like many villages has been asked to take a share of new housing. However, their proposed number and location, together with the proximity to a conservation area has given rise to widespread concern.
People attending the packed village hall criticised the parish council for failing to alert them to the “biggest development in living memory” sooner, while others warned it would “totally destroy” the atmosphere of the village.
Concerns were raised about the strain on schools, healthcare and the lack of transport or jobs.
Christopher Hudson, who represents Brandeston at SCDC, said the “desecration” of Suffolk would “weigh heavily” on him.
While parish councillor Daniel Norman said the village must “look to the future” and consider where young people would live, an overwhelming majority voted 75-0 in favour of rejecting the Local Plan proposals.
One villager said the issue was more widespread than Brandeston, warning that housing proposals would spell the “death knell” for many small villages and “open the road for further development”.
However Mr Fryatt sought to assuage concerns. With around 8,000 of the required new homes already accounted for, he said only 2,000 more were needed. “Please don’t get the impression that we are desperate to build houses,” he said. “If we did not get your 30 houses, it would not matter.”
Mr Fryatt said that while Brandeston may reject additional houses, many other villages in the district were happy to see their communities grow.
Brandeston parish chairman Will Elson apologised for not alerting the villagers to the proposals sooner. The parish council will meet again to formulate a response to the consultation, based on views expressed at Thursday’s meeting, ahead of September 14’s deadline.
Visit SCDC’s website for more Local Plan information.