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Plans for 279 homes in Needham Market could be refused because of concerns over access and impact on landscape

Plans to build a 279-home estate in Needham Market have been recommended for refusal by planners next week because of concerns over access, impact on the landscape and the extension of the town.

Plans were lodged in November to Mid Suffolk District Council to develop land northwest of Barking Road, ranging from one bedroom flats to four bedroom houses, 100 of the units would be classed as affordable homes.

In the application they said the development “has been designed to ensure the proposed built form fits attractively alongside the existing vernacular,” and “creates spaces and places that people will enjoy”.

Where the proposed homes would be build in Needham Market.
Where the proposed homes would be build in Needham Market.

The proposals are due to be discussed by the council’s development control committee on Wednesday, where planning officers have recommended refusal.

Among the chief concerns are that just one point of entry for the estate is planned to service 279 homes in an area where flooding has been seen, which the council report said would mean that “in the event of flooding there would be no means of suitable access in or out of the site”.

Other issues included concerns it would “extend the urban edge of Needham Market into a sensitive countryside landscape gap,” and “the landscape would be irreparably and detrimentally altered through its development”.

Objections have been received from both Needham Market Town Council and Barking Parish Council, as well as the Environment Agency, Suffolk County Council’s highways and flood risk teams, Suffolk Preservation Society and 52 members of the public, among others.

It is not yet clear if the developers will lodge any late improvements ahead of the meeting to address the concerns.

The application reads: “The design has been led by a central spine road through the site and the sub-division of the site into three cells; this creates green corridors which maintain and enhance vistas between the existing properties and the open spaces.

“The creation of different areas establishes variety within the site. This variation will help maintain a connection to the existing vernacular of Needham Market, as well as enhancing it with new design features.”

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