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‘Bland’ criticism of Botesdale homes causes last-minute delay




Councillors have pushed back a final decision on plans for 69 homes in Botesdale, amid concerns over their design and appearance.

Outline planning permission was granted in 2018 for the development off Diss Road and Chapel Lane, with the final application detailing appearance, layout, landscaping and scale coming before Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday morning for approval.

But councillors instead decided by six votes to two to delay a decision because of comments raised by the parish council around the development design checklist in its neighbourhood plan, citing the designs as “bland and lacking in local distinctiveness”.

Councillors from Mid Suffolk District Council have criticised the housing plans. Pictured: Mid Suffolk Council's head office, Endeavour House.
Councillors from Mid Suffolk District Council have criticised the housing plans. Pictured: Mid Suffolk Council's head office, Endeavour House.

Developer Bennett Homes has been told to liaise with planning officers and the parish council to consider the designs.

Edward Parker, managing director of Bennett Homes, said: “The decision to defer our reserved matters application to build 69 new homes in Botesdale is clearly disappointing and a further delay to an application which received outline planning consent in July 2018.

“One third of the properties will be affordable housing, which will bring much-needed homes to the area and it is a shame that the decision to defer will mean a further delay for local residents looking to own their own homes.”

The site is planned to feature 45 two-storey market homes and 24 affordable properties, 16 of which will be rented.

It has been allocated for development in the parish’s neighbourhood plan – a blueprint which effectively maps out areas suitable for future development.

While no solar panels are planned for the homes, the company did confirm it would use air-source heat pumps.

Councillor Rick Meyer said deferral will “encourage the developers to engage with the parish council to agree a set of criteria that removes their concern”.

He added: “We represent the people on the ground and they don’t like these buildings.”

It is not yet clear when the matter will return to the council’s committee.



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