Decision on 70 new homes in Grundisburgh delayed amid road safety fears

Park Road and development land in Grundisburgh

Park Road and the development site in Grundisburgh - Credit: East Suffolk Council

A decision on 70 new homes planned for Grundisburgh has been delayed, amid fears over road safety.

More than 500 public objections to the proposed development on land west of Chapel Road were received ahead of Tuesday's planning meeting, although it is unclear how many of these were duplicates.

Builder Hopkins Homes said the site had been allocated for new housing in East Suffolk Council's local plan, which determines where development should take place.

It also pointed out that 23 homes in the development, which had been recommended for approval by planning officers, would be designated as affordable.

But concerns were raised about access routes in Lower Road and Park Road, prompting East Suffolk Council's planning south committee to vote by six votes to three to defer the application.

The access roads were both considered to be single-track roads with two 90-degree bends.

Suffolk County Council highways teams had no objection to the access roads, but councillors have now sought a second opinion on the safety of the routes.

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They also agreed, by five votes to four, to carry out a site visit to inspect the roads themselves.

Councillors did not express any concerns about the layout or provision of the homes.

Councillor Colin Hedgley, ward member for Carlford and Fynn Valley, said the roads were "wholly unsatisfactory".

He added: "This application is keenly felt by the residents of Grundisburgh.

"I am not against the building of houses but plonking 70 houses without thinking the whole lot through is short-sighted."

A handful of demonstrators also gathered at East Suffolk Council's offices in Melton with placards demanding refusal of the scheme.

Simon Bryan, development director for Hopkins Homes, said: “We are disappointed by the planning committee’s decision to defer this application on a site that the council themselves have already earmarked as being suitable for a development of 70 homes and had been recommended for approval by its planning officers.

“The East Suffolk local plan determines where the council wants new homes to be built to meet the needs of the local community and identifies suitable sites for development to tackle the chronic housing shortage locally and nationally.

“The decision to defer will delay our ability to build new homes that are desperately needed in the local area, especially the 23 affordable homes that have been proposed as part of this scheme.

“We look forward to hearing the committee’s decision in the coming months.”

One objector to the plans said: "The roads are narrow and dangerous now - there have already been serious accidents involving injuries and more traffic will being more accidents."

Ann Willetts, from the parish council, added: "If approved, the impact on highways safety will be severe."

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