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Plans for 290 Rendlesham homes rejected by Suffolk Coastal

PUBLISHED: 15:36 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:36 26 March 2018

Parish council clerk, Heather Heelis, at the public exhibition on plans for up to 300 homes in Rendlesham. Picture: TOM POTTER

Parish council clerk, Heather Heelis, at the public exhibition on plans for up to 300 homes in Rendlesham. Picture: TOM POTTER

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Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee has rejected controversial plans to build 290 homes in Rendlesham – with one councillor saying it was the committee’s duty to protect against “predatory developers”.

Land in Rendlesham could be developed for up to 300 homes. Picture: TOM POTTER Land in Rendlesham could be developed for up to 300 homes. Picture: TOM POTTER

Outline planning permission had been sought by Christchurch Property to develop land off Redwald Road to create 290 homes, as well as car parking, open space and allotments.

A public exhibition was held in July outlining the scope of the development.

While part of the scheme – around 50 homes – was broadly in line with the neighbourhood plan, a large part of the scheme was outside the Rendlseham’s physical boundary.

Planners at Suffolk Coastal District Council recommended refusal on the grounds that it was largely outside the site boundary, the effect on traffic, its location near to special protection areas and the lack of retail offering.

The council’s planning committee opted to refuse the application.

Geoff Holdcroft from the committee said it was “entirely premature” because the local plan had not been finalised which meant the scheme’s merits and deficiencies could not be measured against any comprehensive benchmark.

Mike Deacon on the committee added: “I think it’s our duty to protect our communities against predatory developers.”

Heather Heelis, Rendlesham Parish Council clerk, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome – today is a win for Rendlesham.”

Making a representation at the committee, Mrs Heelis said: “Rendlesham is not objecting to further housing, but any housing must be sustainable and this includes infrastructure.”

Eyke and Campsea Ash parish councils, Suffolk county councillor Alexander Nicoll and various residents had all submitted objections.

Richard Brown from Richard Brown Planning which represents developers Christchurch, said: “I thought they [the committee] gave a fair hearing, but obviously we are disappointed.”

He pointed to the provision of 97 affordable homes as being key to getting people off the waiting list, and said that the lack of a local plan being completed meant there was a “policy vacuum”.

Mr Brown added that the team will “go and review and consider it” before making a decision on an appeal or revised application will be made.

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