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New homes for former blacksmith's site

PUBLISHED: 05:26 09 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

A HISTORIC former blacksmith's site is to be demolished to make way for seven new houses.

Blakes Agricultural Engineering had been operating from the Station Road site in Melton but its closure earlier this year left the area open for redevelopment.

A HISTORIC former blacksmith's site is to be demolished to make way for seven new houses.

Blakes Agricultural Engineering had been operating from the Station Road site in Melton but its closure earlier this year left the area open for redevelopment.

Residents fiercely opposed an application to turn the employment site into a residential one, but Suffolk Coastal's south area development control sub committee decided to approve the proposal.

Seven one-bedroomed houses now look set to be built there in place of a number of outbuildings that surround the main Grade II listed building, which was formerly the blacksmith's shop.

The shop will also be converted into another one-bedroomed house and it is intended that the new development will provide affordable housing for the area.

But district councillor for the area Penny Warberg said she had grave concerns about letting the application go ahead.

She said: "This is in a conservation area in a part of Melton which has managed to retain its character.

"No assurance has been given that these houses will be affordable and they will not be suitable for the elderly.

"They are more suitable for second home buyers."

Residents feared that seven homes would be too many on the site and would be crammed in, which could mean loss of privacy through overlooking properties and also create traffic problems for the area.

Melton parish council said that there were already traffic difficulties at this particular point of the village.

There were concerns that the entrance from the complex onto Station Road opposite St. Andrews Church would be dangerous when services were taking place.

But at a meeting of Suffolk Coastal, some members felt that a residential development would be preferable to more employment.

Councillor Ron Else, who represents the Hasketon area said: "People are complaining about the residential development.

"But there were numerous complaints about the blacksmith's and the noise he was creating when it was in use.

"As for the density we must have in mind that they are one bedroomed units with garages underneath, not seven one bedroomed houses."

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