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Decision day looms in Woolpit as plans for 250 homes all recommended for approval

PUBLISHED: 14:03 04 September 2017

The village sign in Woolpit. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

The village sign in Woolpit. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant

Plans for nearly 250 homes in a central Suffolk village will be decided this week, as the latest tranche of developments in the area come forward.

Villagers in Woolpit will find out whether the three separate applications will be granted planning permission on Wednesday.

The latest applications come as neighbouring Elmswell and nearby Thurston also face more than 1,000 homes between them. In Thurston 650 homes were granted permission in July.

All three of the applications have been recommended for approval to Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning referrals committee.

The largest is for outline planning permission 120 homes on land south of Old Stowmarket Road, submitted by developers Pigeon, with New Hall Properties applying for outline permission for 79 homes on land to the north.

The third application is for full permission for 49 homes on land on the east side of Green Road. Mid Suffolk is currently failing to meet government housing targets and has no up to date local plan.

This means national policy overrides any existing local policy, with a presumption in favour of house building.

As a result there have been applications for thousands of homes in the district, particularly along the A14 corridor, in the past two years.

The three applications, which are being heard together so councillors can assess “cumulative impact” are all objected to by Woolpit Parish Council.

In response they stated: “Woolpit Parish Council is concerned at the potential rate at which this and other possible developments could produce new housing in the village.

“The general infrastructure of Woolpit requires time to evolve and absorb new residents at a reasonable speed as development takes place.

“There is unease that new developments will result in Woolpit losing its ‘village feel’ and for it to become ‘a town’.

“The application should not be considered in isolation but as one of several at the application or pre-application stage which together could add some 700 homes to the existing 900 in Woolpit.”

The meeting will be held at 9.30am on Wednesday in the council chamber, Needham Market.

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EADT writer David Vincent has more than 40 years experience in Suffolk. He has explored the highways and byeways of East Anglia, meeting homeowners, developers and estate agents from Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh and Colchester to Diss.

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