Decision due on 375 homes scheme for Lakenheath
PUBLISHED: 09:16 06 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:27 09 January 2020
A long-running scheme to build 375 homes at Lakenheath is finally set to get conditional approval.
West Suffolk Council's development control committee has been given the recommendation to approve the application by the Cobbold family and Pigeon Investment Management at its meeting on Wednesday, January 8 in Bury St Edmunds.
Members will study an outline application for up to 375 homes - including 112 affordable homes - and to build a new primary school at the site on land north of Station Road.
They will also consider a full application to build an access road onto Station Road and an entrance to the new primary school.
Lakenheath Parish Council has consistently objected to the plans on several grounds.
It feels noise from the nearby US Air Force base at RAF Lakenheath would be too severe on the homes.
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It also believes there is a lack of an overall masterplan linked to other developments in the area, plus concerns about the impact on the countryside, lack of public transport improvements and oversubscribed health services.
The scheme was first submitted in November 2014 but has been delayed by a number of issues.
They include an intervention by the then-communities secretary Sajid Javid, and wrangling over habitat laws.
Suffolk County Council had granted planning permission for a new primary school, but this led to an expensive court battle after the parish council objected.
In 2017 the plans were approved by what was then Forest Heath District Council but have had to return because of further changes in habitat legislation.
Even if outline planning permission is granted, full designs of the homes and school will need to be submitted for approval by the council at a later date.
The report to members said: "Having carefully considered all of the issues raised by the planning application proposals, including the evidence and opinions submitted on behalf of the applicants, the contributions of key consultees, the views of the Lakenheath Parish Council and members of the public who have participated, your officers recommend that planning permission is granted, following prior completion of a S106 Agreement to secure necessary developer contributions and subject to a number of controlling and safeguarding conditions."