Plans for 41 retirement homes at Martlesham rejected
- Credit: Archant
Delayed plans for 41 sheltered housing homes in Martlesham Heath have been refused amid concerns of lost public parking and the old runway recreation space.
East Suffolk Council's planning south committee deferred a decision in April on plans for a retirement complex to be built on land close to The Square and village green, citing the need for a site visit.
The proposals, lodged by McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd, returned to the committee on Tuesday afternoon and despite being recommended for approval were rejected by seven votes to two.
The firm proposed developing the public car park for the homes, and turning the old main runway of the former RAF Martlesham base into public car parking.
However, that runway car park would only accommodate 43 spaces, resulting in a loss of 26 spaces on what is currently in place.
Councillors said the loss was too great for an area of the village which was well-used - particularly for customers of nearby businesses.
They also cited the loss of the runway heritage asset, which is often used for recreation purposes alongside the adjacent village green.
Councillor Kay Yule said: "I cannot see the benefit of swapping one car park for another - especially when you are reducing the number of car parking spaces overall.
"To me, it's the loss of an asset widely used, and a visual asset to that part of the heath."
- 1 Crash involving ambulance closes Ipswich road
- 2 Richest people in East Anglia revealed on Sunday Times Rich List
- 3 Suffolk fish and chip van to feature on Escape to the Country
- 4 Parking woes for shop parade hit by 'continous roadworks'
- 5 'You have broken us!' - New cafe at Suffolk beauty spot on huge demand
- 6 Driver taken to hospital after car crashes into parked vehicle
- 7 Police carry out 'pre-planned' operation in Felixstowe road
- 8 Ipswich salon to offer free gent's haircut at Suffolk Show
- 9 List of 18 rejected proposals to save Felixstowe beach huts revealed
- 10 Fuel spillage causes delays on busy Ipswich road after truck breaks down
Recommendations had first been put forward for approval and then deferring the plans for officers to iron out concerns with the applicants, but did not secure enough votes.
Councillor Linda Coulam said retirement homes were "desperately needed" and would be "such a shame" if car park issues meant that couldn't go ahead.
Emily Bishop, agent on behalf of the developers, described the plans as "highly sustainable and an optimum use for this land," and would deliver "specialist retirement accommodation addressing local need".
Martlesham Parish Council had objected to the scheme, but said its fears over loss of car parking and protection between the edge of the green and the development could be addressed with more stringent planning conditions.
It is not yet clear if the developers plan to appeal or lodge a fresh application.