120 homes for Woolpit granted as 49 rejected over harm to medieval village centre
PUBLISHED: 16:08 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:08 06 September 2017
Villagers in Mid Suffolk today breathed a sigh of relief after plans for 49 homes, which risked harming listed buildings in the iconic medieval centre of Woolpit, were rejected.
Further plans for 120 homes – which were supported by many residents and the parish council – were granted outline permission, while a separate application for 79 homes was deferred.
The application for full permission to build 49 homes with access off Green Road, by Landex, was refused unanimously at Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning referrals committee on Wednesday, September 6.
The committee raised concerns around potential harm to dozens of listed buildings which border a notorious traffic pinch point on the road – at the junction on Mill Lane and The Street – and rejected the planned “improvements” put forward.
Woolpit Parish Council chairman John Guyler said the medieval centre was a “jewel in the crown” of Mid Suffolk, calling on the committee to protect it from harm.
Councillor Sarah Mansel said: “There are lots of good points about this application site, but I have serious doubts about the access on to Green Road. I would have been more than happy to support it if traffic didn’t have to go directly through the pinch point.”
Councillor Roy Barker said: “It is going to bring a big problem to the centre of Woolpit. It is putting listed buildings in harm’s way.”
Councillors called on the developer to move access onto Heath Road.
The potential damage from HGVs striking buildings as they pass through the pinch point was raised by councillors and objectors, as well as safety issues when vehicles mount the pavement.
In March 2016 a lorry struck a building at the junction of Mill Road.
The application for outline permission to build 120 homes to the south of Old Stowmarket Road was unanimously given the go ahead by the committee, who praised the developer Pigeon for their work consulting with the community.
It included extra parking space for the Woolpit Health Centre.
The application for 79 homes north of Old Stowmarket Road, by New Hall Properties, was deferred due to noise concerns from a nearby haulage yard and objections from Historic England over the impact on the scheduled monument Lady’s Well.