Final approval given for 135 Pinewood homes six years after plans first lodged

PUBLISHED: 16:30 04 November 2020

Land for 135 homes in Pinewood. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Land for 135 homes in Pinewood. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS


Final approval for 135 homes, a cafe and a 65-bed care home in Pinewood has been granted after six years in the pipeline.

Rural Community Housing Ltd lodged plans for 155 homes, cafe and care home on land close to the Grade II Listed Belstead House off Sprites Lane back in 2014, with outline planning permission having been granted in 2016.

Twenty homes there already have approval with the final matters around design, appearance, scale and layout for the remaining 135 homes being unanimously approved by Babergh District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday morning.

MORE: 155 homes planned near Belstead House

Craig Western, agent on behalf of the developers, said it was “providing a mixed community with a focus on over-50s accommodation and affordable rented homes” and was in a sustainable location.

He added: “The proposal has been designed to provide a contemporary scheme with a fabric first approach to provide modern efficient homes.”

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However, Pinewood Parish Council and ward councillor Richard Hardacre both objected to the proposals.

Mr Hardacre said: “I simply cannot understand how anyone can walk down Cottingham Road, through the wooden gate and gaze at the view across the village towards Belstead, taking in the trees, shrubs and long grasses of the Suffolk countryside, and think to themselves let’s concrete over this.”

He said it had been important green space during the coronavirus lockdown for people’s wellbeing.

Beryl Calver, from the parish council, said: “There appears to be a change from the original planning statement that dwellings will be predominantly for the over-55s but the reserved matters documentation says 75 units will be for the open and affordable markets with 57 for the 55+ demographic.”

Questions were also raised over the traffic modelling for the area which was carried out back in 2014 and whether Cottingham Road was sufficient to take the anticipated vehicles heading to and from the estate.

However, the committee could only decide on the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the proposals as the principle of development had already been approved and traffic matters came under the original decision.

The parish council confirmed it did not have any objections on those four elements, while committee member David Busby said: “I like the design, I like the estate it’s just in the wrong place.”

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