Framlingham homes plan not sustainable, claim objectors

VILLAGE SIGN - FRAMLINGHAM ENGANL00120120829145321
VILLAGE SIGN - FRAMLINGHAM ENGANL00120120829145321

The chairman of a group campaigning against two large housing developments proposed for Framlingham which are set to be decided on Monday says they are not sustainable and would “swamp” the town.

A number of planning applications which would provide new homes have been submitted, including 163 dwellings proposed for land east of Fairfield Road by Taylor Wimpey, while another proposal from Persimmon Homes for 100 properties on land south of Mount Pleasant Farm was submitted in July.

They are set to go before Suffolk Coastal District Council’s North Area Development Sub Committee on Monday.

Planning officers have recommended approval, subject to conditions, on both developments.

Hopkins Homes also has permission for land off Station Road, for a 140-home development.

Framlingham Residents’ Association (FRAm) formed in October. Since then, a demonstration has been held during a visit from members of Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee to the proposed sites, in an attempt to highlight potential issues that could arise from the influx of new people and traffic.

Chairman Christopher Sharpe told the Diss Express: “The developments, and it is not just these two, but all the developments, will result in a 30 per cent increase in the population over a period of three years.

“The employment rate in Framlingham has increased at a rate a little less than one per cent over the last ten to 12 years, so the town is not in a position to support this amount of new homes.”

Mr Sharpe added he was not sure which way the council would vote on Monday.

“I can’t predict the future,” he added.

“What we can do is focus on the anomalies and some of the inconsistencies within the recommendations and try to concentrate the councillors’ minds on what the town needs and what is good for the town.”

Framlingham Town Council had recommended refusal to the two housing proposals.

It had supported the plan for the 100 homes, but objected to the application, believing it should be more in keeping with the character of Fulcher’s Field, and had concerns over traffic flows.

The authority added the district council was in the process of undertaking a Neighbourhood Plan so, in respect of the Fairfield Road development, should wait to allow for the public to have their say.

The Suffolk Coastal Local Plan (Core Strategy) lays out how 7,900 new homes will be built across the district between 2010 and 2027, but Councillor Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member with responsibility for planning said despite the need for new housing, developments would not be accepted at any cost.

“Suffolk Coastal is working hard to develop the required five-year housing supply and the situation has improved greatly in the last few years,” he said.

“However, while we recognise the need for new housing, we have consistently said we will not accept development at any price. We need to protect our environment and also ensure we are creating sustainable development. “