Eye Town Council recommend refusal on 280 homes proposal at airfield

The site location plan of the proposed development in Eye. Pegasus. ANL-150411-230537001

The site location plan of the proposed development in Eye. Pegasus. ANL-150411-230537001

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Eye Town Council has recommended refusal on an outline planning application for up to 280 new homes on land at the airfield.

The plans, which also feature a new 60-bed care home, were submitted by planning and development consultancy Pegasus, who are working with the landowner, last month.

I can assure can assure you that Mid Suffolk District Council, the County and the Government are under huge pressure to provide housing

Andrew Evitt, Eye Town Councillor

An extraordinary meeting was called for Wednesday, which was attended by dozens of town residents, with all 13 councillors present voting against the proposal.

In a public question time which lasted an hour at the start of the meeting, a number of concerns were raised by residents, including the number of homes, strain on education and health services, increase in traffic, drainage and sewage.

But the general consensus from the public was that some development, including affordable homes, was needed in the town, to ensure young people could remain in the area.

Mid Suffolk District Council will have the final say on the proposal.

In planning documents from Pegasus to the district council, they say it is confirmed up to 35 per cent of the properties will be affordable homes, subject to a viability assessment. The care home will contribute to the “overall provision” of those affordable homes.

Councillor Andrew Evitt said meetings between the town council, Mid Suffolk District Council, and Pegasus had been taking place for about 15 months, and said they had “hammered home” their concerns.

“But if you don’t move forward, you die basically,” he added. “I think we do need more housing in Eye, but having said that, it is a question of degrees, of how many. Is 280, 270, whatever it might be, too many?

“I can assure you that Mid Suffolk District Council, the County and the Government are under huge pressure to provide housing.”

District Councillor Charles Flatman told the meeting that most of the residents he had met were “totally opposed” to the number of homes in the plan, and said it would “alter the whole contour” of the town.

Councillor Richard Berry also questioned Pegasus’s consultation process, with the care home not previously included in drawings at public events.

He said: “There have been lots of changes, quite major ones, since the exhibition in March.”

The plans are part of the Mid Suffolk District Council Core Strategy from 2008 when at least 200 homes were allocated on the land north west of the town.

The official response of the town council will be submitted in the coming days.