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Somersham homes plan gets green light despite road safety fears

A Mid Suffolkplanning committee has approved plans for 42 homes in Somersham  Picture: MSDC

A Mid Suffolkplanning committee has approved plans for 42 homes in Somersham Picture: MSDC

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Plans to build 42 homes in Somersham - which have faced fierce opposition from villagers - have been given the go-ahead by a planning committee.

The proposals, for homes south west of Main Road, were discussed at a Mid Suffolk District Council planning referrals committee at Endeavour House in Ipswich on Wednesday after the decision was deferred last month over fears about road safety in the village.

The development will include a mix of detached, semi-detached and block housing as well an affordable housing provision of 15 homes.

The proposal for the site, which is currently being used for grazing horses, also includes the construction of a new access road as well as allocated parking.

In October, a Mid Suffolk planning committee asked developer Hopkins Homes to draw up plans for a new footpath to run alongside a stretch of Main Road to link the new development to the rest of the village - its shop, primary school and other amenities.

But villagers claimed the footpath would narrow the road too much, increasing the likelihood of an accident happening on the bend, putting pedestrians, motorists and nearby listed buildings at risk.

A spokesman for Somersham parish council said during Wednesday's planning meeting that the addition of the footpath did 'little to address the concerns of local residents'.

After debating the issue for more than an hour councillors decided to approve the plans, without the addition of the footpath and with new signage warning pedestrians and motorists to slow down on the narrow bend.

Simon Bryan, development director for Hopkins Homes, said: "We are pleased that our application to create 42 much needed new homes has been approved by the planning committee, and that a consensus has been reached on the necessary highways improvements.

"The committee determined that the footpath option that they had requested at a previous meeting was now not suitable.

"Instead they have requested new signage and road markings along Main Road which we are happy to complete.

We will also be investigating further improvements to the existing off-site public rights of way."

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