Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°C


Stowmarket: First phase of Chilton Leys housing estate is backed despite concerns

11:18 13 March 2014

The first phase of the Chilton Leys housing development has been approved

The first phase of the Chilton Leys housing development has been approved

More than 200 homes can now be built as part of the first phase of the biggest housing development planned in Mid Suffolk.

Plans for a school and an employment site as part of the Chilton Leys estate, in Stowmarket, have also received outline planning permission.

The vote to accept the plans as the first phase of a larger 800-home scheme was unanimously backed at Mid Suffolk District Council yesterday – barring one abstention.

In January councillors concerned by the amount construction firm Taylor Wimpey had put forward in a Section 106 agreement – developer cash for infrastructure – for affordable homes, health facilities, transport links and sustainability, decided to allow more time for the plans to be developed. Some £4million would be needed to meet all Section 106 “obligations” but only £1.9m was made available in January.

The phase one part of Chilton Leys was said to be “not viable at all” with “considerable time and costs” for Taylor Wimpey because of a decision to save the council-owned recreation area, Chilton Fields, from development. The phase had to be redesigned – including adding the school – which created the extra costs, said council officer Chris Edwards.

Since January Mid Suffolk planners have worked with Taylor Wimpey to revise how much money is available in the agreement. But again the £1.9m was offered in the meeting yesterday, which concerned several councillors.

John Matthissen, councillor for Onehouse, where a large proportion of the overall site would be, said he could not support the proposals which would create a “substandard” development. He said: “It is certainly not sustainable and it fails to deliver the relevant strategic priorities of the district council.”

James Bailey, agent for the developer, said: “Detailed discussion has resulted in careful consideration of the rural setting and the rural edge of the site. Detailed viability work has been undertaken by independent experts in the field. It must be remembered that it’s the first phase of a larger site.”

Rachel Eburne, councillor for the Haughley and Wetherden ward, where another part of the development is to be built, said it was “difficult to address all the issues” but had concerns over the environmental standards the homes would reach.

The revised Section 106 agreement states that £60,000 will be for health facilities and £235,000 for affordable homes but the council heard how this was likely to be used with other funds at a later development phase.

No money has been put towards ensuring the homes would reach a “code three” Government environmental standard, to renewable forms of energy or to public rights of way. Extra funding for Stowmarket’s library and new cycle ways will also not be available.


An armed police officer was called to Kesgrave as a safety precaution after a report was received of an injured dog today.

Last week’s article was about Oak Hill, the outstanding property just off Belstead Road on Oak Hill Lane, built in 1860 on a plot of land sold by Peter Burrell of Stoke Park, recaps John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

Arthur Ransome’s tales of boats and adventure - many of which were set in Suffolk - changed the course of children’s literature.

Plans for Sizewell C are doomed to “evaporate” in the wake of insurmountable problems that will prevent its intended forerunner at Hinkley Point ever producing electricity, one of Britain’s leading environmentalists has predicted.

A Suffolk-based charity auction which has attracted bids from all over the world and raised more than £870,000 since its inception is aiming to break the £1million mark for national and local charities this year.

Fight or flight is fascinating, writes Ellen Widdup.

The A12 is now running smoothly after severe traffic delays earlier at Feering, Essex, caused by a two-car crash.

Some stores display a polite notice next to initial merchandise asking shoppers not to rearrange the items to create rude words.

Hundreds of youngsters braved the cold October temperatures to celebrate all things autumn at the Holywells Park Apple Day.

Suffolk police officers have been called to a clown sighting in Haughley, near Stowmarket this afternoon.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24