by richard cornwell
Thursday, November 15, 2012
PROPOSALS for 180 new homes on a greenfield site at Martlesham are set for the go-ahead next week – despite strong opposition.
Planning officers admit the project is against both existing and draft future policies, but feel it should receive consent because it is considered to be sustainable development.
More than 100 residents and Martlesham Parish Council have lodged strong objections, claiming the project is premature.
“It is a significant development in an area where infrastructure is at capacity, it is not in sympathy with existing developments, would cause a loss of public amenity and threatens the viability of the adjoining common, a designated county wildlife Site,” said the parish council.
“There is also evidence of a Roman villa site within the development area.
“Current sewage and electricity services are at capacity. Both primary and secondary schools are oversubscribed in the relevant catchment areas.
“Further, we understand that the Primary Care Trust has concerns regarding the capacity of the doctor’s surgery in Martlesham Heath.”
Bloor Homes has submitted the scheme for the 27-acre site off Main Road.
The project will include 59 affordable homes, a mix of rented properties and part-ownership, plus a village green and an extensive area of open space.
The developers will also pay £1.84million towards early years, primary and secondary education for children on the estate, plus contributions towards libraries and playspace.
Access to the development – to be built on land known as Pipe’s Field and a wooded area called Coop land – will be from Main Road, where there is currently a layby.
In a report to the development control committee on November 21, head of planning at Suffolk Coastal, Philip Ridley said “considerable weight” had to be given to the shortfall of available housing sites and it would be sometime before new policies succeeded in rectifying this.
Government was also keen to see economic growth supported.
“The foremost positive benefit of the proposal is, not only will the site deliver needed housing, it will also deliver much-needed affordable housing,” he said.
“Having regard to national policy and all the material planning considerations, the proposal is considered to represent sustainable development and therefore on careful balance the application is recommended for approval.”
Bloor Homes reduced the number of houses it wanted to build by more than 100 after carrying out consultation.