Vote of approval for Mills Charity’s almshouses proposals in Framlingham

Nick Corke, Mills Charity trustee

Nick Corke, Mills Charity trustee - Credit: Archant

Charity proposals for 14 new almshouses to help young people in an east Suffolk town have won the backing of community leaders.

Framlingham Town Council voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend the approval of the Mills Charity’s application for a site it owns off Brook Lane.

The charity, which was set up from the estate of the wealthy philanthropist Thomas Mills to benefit Framlingham, already owns six almshouses in the town, but said its latest plans were intended to help younger people who were unable to afford regular housing.

Members of the public who attended the meeting to discuss the application acknowledged the benefits it would provide the town’s younger generations but also raised concerns about the loss of views and effects on traffic.

“We realise that there’s got to be a future for the youngsters in Framlingham,” said one public speaker. “But at the same time I’m very concerned about the visual impact and I would like to think we will be considered with whatever screening will be done.”

Others called for fencing to be built to hide the development, some suggested bungalows would be more appropriate and there were further calls for an investigation into the impact on highways.

Charity trustee Nick Corke assured the meeting that landscaping concerns would be addressed and there would be no corners cut to save money. “We want to leave something that’s going to be of importance and we want to do it properly,” he said.

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“We look after our other almshouses fairly well and I would like to think we will look after these as well.”

Mr Corke said there were strict criteria applicants for the almshouses had to meet to be eligible, which would ensure that only local people in genuine need would be offered accommodation.

Councillors welcomed the assurances made over landscaping concerns and voted unanimously in support of the application.

Stephanie Bennell said the charity should be “congratulated” for its plans, which would “fulfil a local need”.

Compared with large scale profit-making schemes, which would see the site “stuffed from end to end”, Ms Bennell said these plans were “a breath of fresh air”.

The application will next be heard by Suffolk Coastal District Council.