Wickham Market: Highways recommends refusal of housing neighbours said would cause traffic ‘bedlam’

Wickham Market

Wickham Market - Credit: Archant

Highways officers have recommended the refusal of controversial Suffolk housing plans, which neighbours said would cause “bedlam”.

The proposals for a pair of two-storey properties at the rear of Hasnip’s cycle store in Wickham Market High Street would require access along a lane of “substandard width” measuring just 8ft 4ins across.

Suffolk County Council’s highways response to the application highlighted the poor visibility for traffic leaving the lane and likely congestion caused by vehicles queuing in the High Street to gain access.

The officer’s report said the application should be refused as it “will exacerbate the use of an existing access of substandard width”.

News of the recommendation has been welcomed by Wickham Market Parish Council, which had already objected to the plans after presiding over a public meeting, in which strong opposition was voiced by nearby residents.

Parish chairman Dick Jenkinson said the application “has received significant public interest and Suffolk Coastal District Council has received quite a few letters of extreme concern about the development”.

Public speakers at the meeting said it would cause “absolute turmoil” and warned of “bedlam” if the development was approved. Parish clerk Jo Jones’ letter recommending refusal warned the access during and after construction would be “completely inadequate”.

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“Several residents close to the proposed site have already suffered damage to parked vehicles on this stretch of road, two cars have been written off and it is a miracle that no one has been seriously injured or killed and this is without the added hazard of more traffic exiting the alleyway,” the letter states.

The village’s district councillor Bryan Hall and county councillor Michael Bond also expressed concerns about access.

The agent for the applicant was unable to respond to requests for comment.

However the application’s design and access statement said the development would provide family homes which were “much-needed” in the district and would “tidy up and overgrown and neglected parcel of land”.

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