Thurston homes plan delayed for second time because councillors use entire meeting to discuss one application
PUBLISHED: 07:30 13 August 2020
Major plans for 210 homes in Thurston have been pushed back for a second time in eight months – because councillors spent so long debating another item they did not have time to discuss it.
The proposals by Gladman Developments Ltd to build on land east of Ixworth Road were pushed back by Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning referrals committee in January because further highways analysis was needed at key junctions and updated plans for rail station improvements were needed.
MORE: Thurston 210 homes plan delayed for further highways work
But the committee deferred the matter again at its meeting on Wednesday afternoon because it had spent so long discussing the agenda item before it that highways officers were unable to stay.
The item before, proposals for 80 homes in Stowupland, took more than three-and-a-half hours for a decision.
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Committee chairwoman Kathie Guthrie said: “We have had a long debate already on one application, and because of the time and the heat – but the most important thing is Sam the highways expert from Suffolk County Council can’t remain with us – it has been decided we will defer this matter.”
Philip Isbell from the council’s planning team said that highways matters were integral to the Thurston application and added that not having highways members present “would deprive members of the opportunity to investigate the issue properly, and to proceed without it we would end up with another deferral anyway”.
It meant the committee only got through one item on a two item agenda.
It followed its meeting in January when the Thurston application was initially discussed and was one of only three applications to be debated in a lengthy eight hour committee which resulted in four applications having to be scrubbed off the agenda that day.
A date for when the matter will next be heard has not yet been given, but leaves the community, which is already expanding rapidly from 800 new-build homes, anxiously awaiting a final decision on the latest big development proposal.
In their report, planning officers had recommended approval, but Thurston Parish Council has vehemently objected to the plans.
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