Villagers angry at housing estate plan

RESIDENTS have spoken of their concern after a planning application for a new housing estate in their village was announced.

Lizzie Parry

RESIDENTS have spoken of their concern after a planning application for a new housing estate in their village was announced.

The plans, drawn up by Flagship Housing Group, are for 19 new affordable homes in Yoxford.

The scheme includes the construction of a new minor access road with car parking on an area of land to the rear of Meadowlands Close off Strickland Manor Hill.

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The site is currently a children's playing field and residents are concerned at the potential loss of a valuable part of their community as well as the impact increased traffic will have on the already narrow access road.

Dale Stannard, spokesman for a local residents' group, said: “We were initially told the plans were for between six and eight houses on the site, but the application is for 19 homes. We feel as local residents it is a huge amount of housing in a small area.”

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“We are not against the idea of the affordable housing we just feel it is too big to suddenly have so many houses on the area.”

He added: “Children in the village will be left with a small play area, about the size of an indoor swimming pool. We are rather upset that our children are losing their play area, and more housing will mean more children and hardly anywhere for them to play safely.

“In this day and age we are being told children need more fresh air and exercise and yet they are planning on making the play area so much smaller.”

The residents group is also concerned about the access for the site, which is a single track lane, already causing traffic problems for local people.

“We have a single track road, Strickland Manor Hill, about 100 metres up from the main village road it bottlenecks, because it is single track you have to give way on a blind corner,” Mr Stannard said.

“The higher volume of traffic with the building and then afterwards with more people living in the area is likely to cause safety issues.”

Flagship Housing Group's business growth director Martin Aust said: “A public consultation took place before the application was made and access to the development would be improved as per guidelines from the Highways Agency.

“The road would be widened with priority one-way access and a new footpath would also be created.

“The number of homes is well within the district council's guidelines on density for a site of this size. “The play area would be improved by having a young children's playground in addition to a playing field with posts.

“In the current climate, where people are struggling to get mortgages, there is a huge need for housing in rural areas where people want to stay close to family and friends.”

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