Approval given for 190-home development in Bramford

Development site north of Bramford

The development site off Loraine Way, in Bramford, including the play area set to get an upgrade - Credit: Google Maps

Plans for 190 new homes on land in Bramford have been approved having raised concerns about the use of gas boilers. 

The Bellway homes development had been recommended for approval prior to Mid-Suffolk Council's development committee meeting on Tuesday where concerns were raised about the lack of "forward-thinking" from the developers. 

All 190 houses are expected to be completed by 2024 - before government legislation banning the installation of gas boilers in new-built homes is expected to come in. Bellway plans on using gas boilers throughout the Bramford development. 

Almost all councillors raised concerns about this, with some saying they wanted more ambitious ideas for energy and others worrying about whether there would be a cost to residents when the time came to replace the boilers.

Matthew Hicks, chair of the mid-Suffolk development control committee

Matthew Hicks, chair of the mid-Suffolk development control committee, said he was supporting the plans but found some parts disappointing - Credit: GREGG BROWN

Councillor Matthew Hicks, chair of the committee and Conservative representative for Hoxne and Worlingworth, said that he was supporting the plans "with a heavy heart" but policy didn't allow the committee to determine issues like heating source used. 

Green Party councillor for Onehouse John Matthissen said that he didn't think the plans were the best they could be and that these homes were not being built with 60 years ahead in mind. 

And fellow Green Party councillor Sarah Mansel, for Elmswell and Woolpit, worried that Bellway was "burying its head in the sand with the gas boiler issue", adding that she felt buyers might be "more forward-thinking". 

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But Bellway was praised for its engagement with the local community, particularly its relationship with Bramford Parish Council. 

As part of the development, Bellway agreed to enhance the existing Bramford play area with a commuted sum of money, rather than building a new one on their land. 

Discussions also occurred about implementing a speed limit on Loraine Way, the proximity of certain plots to existing housing and how open space would be managed as a nature area for the community. 

Conservative councillor Timothy Passmore, for Claydon and Barham, said the outreach to local people was "commendable" while Councillor Mansel said she "wished more developers did this engagement with parish councils". 

Six councillors voted in favour of the housing development, with two voting against.