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New homes schemes for Thurston debated by councillors

PUBLISHED: 20:20 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:43 30 January 2020

Two planning applicatons totalling 420 homes in Thurston. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Two planning applicatons totalling 420 homes in Thurston. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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Plans for more than 200 new homes in Thurston have narrowly been approved by councillors.

The sites coloured in blue are existing housing applications, many of which are under construction and the two new applications are coloured red in Thurston. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSThe sites coloured in blue are existing housing applications, many of which are under construction and the two new applications are coloured red in Thurston. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

In a mammoth meeting lasting well over eight hours, Mid Suffolk District Council's planning referrals committee discussed two applications for 210 homes each in Thurston - one by Bloor Homes and one by Gladman, as well as proposals for 70 homes in Stowupland.

The two Thurston applications generated strong opposition from the parish council because there were five applications totalling around 800 homes already approved, and went against the village's neighbourhood plan.

While the Bloor application was narrowly approved by seven votes to six in a debate lasting nearly four hours on Wednesday, the Gladman proposals were deferred for further work on highways analysis at key junctions and an update on plans for the rail station improvements,

Ward councillor Harry Richardson said: "With the whole cumulative impact of these 400 homes, we are now looking at more than 1,200 new homes in Thurston - a village which in the last census had 1,300 homes already.

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"What we are looking at, in effect, is the doubling of a village in size."

He added that it would "transform Thurston beyond recognition" and had been "vehemently opposed by local residents".

The committee heard the Bloor Thurston application was considered sustainable, and included proposals to improve key junctions at Fishwick Corner and Beyton Road, as well as financial contributions towards infrastructure, schools and community projects.

The proposals for 70 homes in Stowupland stumbled because the site on land south of Gipping Road is not listed in the village's neighbourhood plan.

Discussions over the first three applications - which were all listed for the morning session - took so long that the afternoon's three items due to be heard had to be ditched.

Three different councillors also had to chair the meeting.

Those three delayed applications - one for 300 homes in Woolpit, one for 269 homes in Barham and a further 73 in Claydon, have been moved to a future meeting, likely to be next week.


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