Persimmon to review options over Bell Lane, Kesgrave, development as readers back no-homes decision

Bell Lane, Kesgrave, where the homes were planned to be built. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Bell Lane, Kesgrave, where the homes were planned to be built. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Developers behind plans to build a 300-home estate in land off Bell Lane, Kesgrave, have expressed their disappointment at the Planning Inspectorate’s decision after it dismissed an appeal to let the build go ahead.

Persimmon Homes and BPT Ltd lodged plans to develop the greenfield site off Bell Lane and Foxhall Road in December 2015, prompting a wave of objections at a public meeting in January 2016.

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planning committee rejected the application in June that year, prompting Persimmon to appeal the decision.

The appeal resulted in a four-day planning inquiry in August, before the Planning Inspectorate ruled to dismiss the appeal earlier this week on sustainability grounds.

Community leaders said it was the right decision for Kesgrave, but Persimmon said it was disappointed with the outcome.

Martin Davidson, land director for Persimmon Homes Anglia, said: “We are obviously disappointed with the outcome of the public inquiry, and will need to review the decision with our consultants and counsel before deciding what next steps to take.

“We do not wish to comment further at this stage.”

In January, Mr Davidson told the Ipswich Star and EADT that Persimmon planned to submit a fresh proposal during the appeal which addressed concerns of residents about facilities such as schools and doctors already being oversubscribed.

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This updated proposal is so far yet to emerge.

In February last year Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee deferred the application because an application of up to 1,000 homes could secure the necessary infrastructure improvements such as improved traffic flow and new school and GP provision.

It is understood that last year that talks were underway to draw up a masterplan which would have seen the 300 homes become the first phase of a larger scheme.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter said the application did not provide enough infrastructure improvements. He added: “We know there are serious road traffic issues between Woodbridge and Ipswich on the A12 and a lot of congestion at busy hours, but it is also important that we protect important areas of green space around Ipswich, and that is about maintaining the quality of life for residents.”

What you said

We ran a poll on their websites asking what you thought of the land being used for development.

Of the 300 readers who cast their vote, just 23% said they thought the land off Bell Lane and Foxhall Road should be developed for housing, with 77% believing it should not.

When asked where the land should be used for retail or leisure development, the majority felt the land should not be developed – 83% said it should be left alone while just 17% said the site should be used for shops and leisure development.