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Date set for fresh planning inquiry into 300 Bell Lane homes in Kesgrave after errors in 2017

PUBLISHED: 18:30 16 April 2018

Proposed site for new homes at the junction of Bell Lane and Foxhall Road. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Proposed site for new homes at the junction of Bell Lane and Foxhall Road. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Dates for a fresh planning inquiry into proposals to build 300 homes in Kesgrave have been confirmed, after the Government admitted last year’s inquiry made errors.

The land at Bell Lane, Kesgrave, which is the subject of negotiations. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe land at Bell Lane, Kesgrave, which is the subject of negotiations. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Plans by Persimmon to build 300 homes on land off Bell Lane and Foxhall Road in Felixstowe were refused by Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planning committee.

Persimmon appealed the decision, which went to a four-day planning inquiry in August last year. The Planning Inspectorate dismissed the appeal in October, but in December after Persimmon issued a legal challenge citing serious errors, the secretary of state confirmed that errors had been made.

It meant a fresh inquiry was confirmed as the High Court quashed the previous ruling.

Now it has been confirmed that all evidence ahead of the inquiry must be submitted by May 29, with the four-day inquiry due to kick off again on June 26.

A site visit may be incorporated as part of the process.

The secretary of state’s response to the overturned inquiry said that there was an “error of law” in relation to the reasoning behind Suffolk Coastal’s housing supply.

A spokeswoman from Suffolk Coastal last night said: “I can confirm that the public inquiry will take place from 26 June for up to four days.

“The council will maintain its defence on this refusal under the appeal and is working on updated proofs of evidence which need to be sent to the Planning Inspectorate by 29 May.”

In December, Kesgrave Town Council said it would continue to fight the plans which it strongly believes to be unsustainable.

Meanwhile, Turnberry – a planning consultancy on behalf of landowners Grainger – revealed plans to build 1,300 homes on the greenfield site, which would include contributions to a new primary school, GP surgery, bus route and a civic centre built around the existing aviation museum.

While no firm plans have been tabled, Turnberry has continued to speak to the town council over what infrastructure and facilities would need to be included.

The firm confirmed it has already been in discussions with the local authority’s education team, and was planning more concrete discussions with the NHS, town council and neighbourhood groups ahead of formulating a plan this year.

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