Extra housing for old airfield

MORE houses than first planned look set to be built on the huge airfield at the redundant Bentwaters air base – at a cost to the owners of nearly £500,000.

MORE houses than first planned look set to be built on the huge airfield at the redundant Bentwaters air base – at a cost to the owners of nearly £500,000.

The owners, the Kemball family, have submitted a new master plan for the 900-acre site to council planners.

They want to build 445 homes on the base instead of the 313 in the original plans, but say it will mean they have to use less undeveloped land for houses.

But the downside of the project is that Kemballs – who farm land at nearby Wantisden – will have to pay an extra £392,905 towards the future education of the children who will live in the properties, and also £72,600 towards a sports pavilion and changing rooms for the recreation area.


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The proposals have also attracted criticism from residents and conservationists, who feel the chance to plan an imaginative village is being wasted.

Suffolk Coastal council's development control sub committee will discuss the proposals on Wednesday and are being recommended by officers to accept the changes, and also a new village centre lay-out.

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The owners say that while they would like to build an extra 132 homes within the area of the old domestic base, they will not change the amount of houses which will be overall on the site.

This will still remain at 1,225, of which 700 will be on land at Rendlesham.

The first stage will involve 42 acres of the base with around 10 homes to the acre. There would be six to the acre on the greenfield site in the village.

The proposed village centre will include a shop and a post office in the former Burger King restaurant, the addition of a café and bar to the sports centre, an arts centre to be retained in the former library, a new community centre, possibly a child care centre, and a conference centre.

The doctors' surgery and pharmacy will stay for the time being at the entrance to the site but the chemist may move into the village centre as the surgery expands.

The master plan also still includes proposals for a school, village green, retention of the church, and plans for each housing area to have its own children's play area and open space.

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