Plans for 127 homes in Suffolk village withdrawn

Land to the south of Ipswich Road.

Land to the south of Ipswich Road which had plans for 127 homes. - Credit: Google Maps

Plans for 127 homes in Brantham have been withdrawn by the applicant.

The project was submitted by Hopkins Homes on land to the south of Ipswich Road.

The scheme did include plans for 44 affordable homes, a car park, pubic open space, and play areas.    

The planning statement for the project, prepared by Bidwells, said: "The proposal represents sustainable development in all dimensions.

"Economically, the proposals would result in considerable short-medium term economic benefits as part of any construction work, and in the longer term by local spending from future occupants.

"Socially, the development will introduce multiple on-site and off-site benefits, to enhance amenity provision within Brantham for new and existing residents.

"This includes provision of public open space, a Locally Equipped Area for Play (LEAP), a circular walking route, a new car park for the exclusive use of the church/nursery to the south of the site, a new off-site pedestrian footpath link from Church Lane to School Lane and a new zebra crossing over the A137."

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However, issues that appear to relate to heritage and landscaping, as well as delays to the Local Plan have led to Hopkin's pulling the plug on the scheme.

Historic England objected to the plans, saying: "The significance of the grade II listed Church of St Michaels and All Angels lies not only in its surviving 15th century fabric but with its relationship to the surrounding agricultural land.

"It was designed to act as a landmark across open fields to draw together dispersed communities in worship, the proposed scheme would see the church relegated to a designed view in a designed landscaped setting seen only from specific viewpoints."

Head of planning for Hopkins Homes, Jonathan Lieberman, said: "As a result of delays to the council’s emerging Local Plan, which proposed to allocate the site for residential development, we have taken the decision to withdraw the current application.

"We will now continue to positively engage with the council and statutory stakeholders regarding our development proposal while further work on the Local Plan is carried out.”

Councillor Alastair McCraw said: "I think heritage and landscape concerns may have been large factors in this. The views to and around the church and lychgate are irreplaceable.

"The site is adjacent to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Significant objections had been raised in this and in the absence of a housing need, given other permissions in the village and cluster.

"It is possible that another application on a smaller scale could be made, but those factors will still apply. I regret the loss of some few benefits, but on balance this was the correct decision by the applicant."