Concerns over gated community

A “GATED” community - branded exclusive and inappropriate by villagers - is to be built on a controversial site at Kirton.Automatic gates will bar entry to the set of five new houses to be built by Meob Holdings on the 2.

A “GATED” community - branded exclusive and inappropriate by villagers - is to be built on a controversial site at Kirton.

Automatic gates will bar entry to the set of five new houses to be built by Meob Holdings on the 2.2 acre site of the old Maltings, off Trimley Road.

Suffolk Coastal's deputy leader Andy Smith voiced concern and said security gates were not appropriate in a village or rural setting.

Kirton and Falkenham Parish Council said: “The inclusion of a 'gated' community is not favoured, appearing exclusive and inappropriate.

“Nevertheless, if gates are to be provided they must be set further inside the development. This is a busy road, the site entrance is on a bend and any likelihood of traffic queuing while waiting access would not be acceptable.”

But planning officers said Suffolk had a history of gated homes and it was traditional in the county, whether they were farms or private properties.

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There was uproar last year when the previous owners of the site ripped up trees and destroyed unique, historic world war two military buildings in the garden. The council eventually acted to place a tree preservation order on the trees around the boundary.

The biggest concerns over the new development next to the grade two listed Georgian Maltings house is whether the land is contaminated by asbestos or unexploded munitions.

Senior planning officer Bob Chamberlain said the previous owner's pre-emptive clearance work had removed anti-aircraft gun emplacements and a battery observation post.

Mr Chamberlain said before work started on the three five-bed detached homes and two semis, one three-bed and the other four-bed, archaeologists would carry out a dig and survey to map and record the war-time buildings.

Parish councillor Susan Harvey said the revised plans for the site had resolved most of the concerns over the development. However, there was still some unease over the extra traffic that would be generated on Trimley Road, especially with 12 homes currently being built on adjoining land.

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