Local needs housing removed from Stradbroke homes plan

Grove Farm - a proposed new housing development. ANL-150415-144556009

Grove Farm - a proposed new housing development. ANL-150415-144556009

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A planning application for new homes in Stradbroke has been scaled down from 54 to 44 properties, according to a Mid Suffolk District Council spokesperson.

The plans, to be developed by Durrants on behalf of the land owners, propose homes ranging from one to four bedroom family houses, including the conversion of two barns, on agricultural land at Grove Farm, off Queen Street.

All of the homes being removed are local needs housing. But a Mid Suffolk District Council spokesperson said the 17 affordable homes in the plans was still above their normal policy, “of up to 35 per cent.”

The authority is set to run the rule of the application at a planning meeting later this month.

The spokesperson said: “After discussions surrounding viability, landscape and heritage impact of the Grove Farm planning application it was decided that the scheme would better fit its surroundings, have less of a traffic impact in the village and more likely to be achieved if the number of houses on the site were to reduce from 54 to 44.

“The revised drawings are expected in the near future and these will then be the subject of re-consultation.

“The ten homes removed are some of the local needs housing but the revised scheme still remains with 17, new, affordable homes for the community - above our normal policy of up to 35 per cent.”

A recent housing survey in the village suggested 12 homes should be considered by the parish.

Oliver Last, vice chairman of Stradbroke Parish Council and chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee who voted against the plan when put to the parish council in April, said it was difficult to comment on the situation, with parish councillors yet to see the revised plans.

“From a planning perspective, I believe people in the village might be pleased that it is been scaled down a bit, because there was a lot of concerns about that,” he said. “I am looking forward to seeing the breakdown of local needs housing and affordable homes in the proposal.”

The district is currently without a five-year land supply for housing. Councillor John Whitehead, Mid Suffolk’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, said this did not mean it was a “development free-for-all”, and added there were a number of policies currently in place.

He added:“Unacceptable and unsustainable development proposals will be rejected on good planning grounds.”