Botesdale to expand with 40 new homes despite resident’s concerns

Land at Back Hills, Botesdale



PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Land at Back Hills, Botesdale PICTURE: Mecha Morton

Botesdale is set to increase in size after planning permission was given the go ahead for 40 new homes – despite the concerns of existing residents.

The scheme – submitted by Suffolk-based house building company Burgess Homes – is for a 2.7-hectare site on vacant land at the northern end of the village. It will be made up of two-storey homes and a number of bungalows.

It’s early days, but the challenge for us as a parish council is to ensure that the development must be an appropriate, progressive and manageable one

William Sargeant

In the planning statement, the new homes are said to “help address a significant shortfall in deliverable housing land within the district”.

Residents have voiced concerns about the development. One comment on the application said they were “deeply concerned” over a potential increase in traffic, parking and pollution.

They added: “Housing needs to be no more than five to 10 built at a time, helping to integrate the new people into the village.”

Another objector had fears about access to the development. Commenting on access from Back Hills, they said; “At the moment, it is dangerous to say the least from both ends.”

They also questioned the development’s impact on the village’s image and local services, stating that it was not a “viable idea”.

The application states that the development will be “located in a sustainable settlement where residents have access to a wide range of local services” and “will be developed with out having a significant impact on the character of the village or existing residents”.

It also specifies that the scale and appearance of the new buildings will “reflect traditional vernacular architecture” and incorporate traditional Suffolk building materials. The exact layout of the development is to be agreed at a later stage.

Proposed vehicle access will be after Hall Lane, the B1113. The planning statements regards this to have “clear visibility in either direction.” There will also be two pedestrian routes – using, improving, and widening existing footpaths.

The scheme will also contain two areas of public open space featuring tree planting.

William Sargeant, chairman of Botesdale Parish Council, said: “It’s early days, but the challenge for us as a parish council is to ensure that the development must be an appropriate, progressive and manageable one.”

Botesdale and Rickinghall Pre-school has supported the development, saying that it believes it will “help lift the number of children attending the pre-school” while the gifting of woodland and improvement of footpaths would be beneficial.

A spokesman for Barbergh and Mid Suffolk District Council said that, after debate by the development control committee on August 23 on the merits of the application, including highway safety issues, ecological issues and the “connectivity of the development to services and facilities in the village”, the committee decided to grant planning permission.

However, the planning permission requires section 106 funds – money provided by developers to offset the impact of such schemes – to include cycling access improvements from the site to the village in order to enhance the sustainability of the proposal.

The committee also instructed officers to ask Suffolk County Council to look at the possibility of extending the 30mph zone in Hall Road.