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Revised plans for homes at back of Six Bells pub, in Felsham, near Bury St Edmunds, attracts objection from parish council





A parish council has reiterated its objections to plans for homes at the back of a Grade II-listed pub.

Revised plans for land at the back of the Six Bells pub, in Felsham, near Bury St Edmunds, were lodged by Cordage 44 Limited last year.

The proposal is for two detached three-bed homes, each with two parking spaces. Access would be via the existing vehicular access from Church Road, to be shared between the pub and new houses, with a driveway extending to the side providing access to the proposed development.

The Six Bells pub, in Church Road, Felsham near Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Westley
The Six Bells pub, in Church Road, Felsham near Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Westley

Six similar applications have previously been drawn up for the site for either two or three homes – five were refused including three appeal dismissals and one withdrawn.

The most recent refusal in April last year was on the grounds of harm to the character of the conservation area after 44 objections.

The previous refusal was on October 27, 2021, with an appeal dismissed on the grounds that the homes would have a ‘bulky and cramped appearance which would erode the spacious quality’ of part of the conservation area.

A statement submitted with the latest plans says the current proposal substantially reduces the scale of development compared with the last two schemes.

The homes were now three bed instead of four, resulting in a much reduced footprint, it said, and previously proposed car ports have been omitted.

However, Felsham Parish Council said it reiterated its previous objections to the several applications for this proposed development filed during the last, now 14 years.

Its concerns cover safety, the detrimental effect on heritage and community assets, the negative impact on residential amenity and over the access separating the pub from the former stables.

“It is unconscionable to consider separating the existing pub and stable block,” it reads.

The parish council was also concerned over loss of space in the pub car park and the knock-on effect of increased on-road parking by patrons.

However, the transport statement with the application said there would be a similar number of parking spaces in the car park, for around 13-14 cars, and bays would now be marked out.

It noted that while the appeal was refused, the inspector confirmed that there were no highways concerns with the proposal.

As part of the plans, there would also be a new 1.2 metre wide footway along the internal access road to enhance pedestrian safety for those walking into and out of the site.

Suffolk Highways is not objecting to the plans, but says there should be conditions, for example sufficient visibility for drivers to manoeuvre safely.

In terms of heritage, the heritage officer felt the proposal ‘would not detract from the significance of the Six Bells, the character and appearance of Felsham Conservation Area or any other heritage assets, subject to conditions’.

A planning, design and access statement with the application said the site is currently not used by the pub and is therefore surplus to operational requirements.

It said: “The proposal includes the development of the existing beer garden and a portion of the pub’s existing parking facilities which are considered to be surplus to requirements.

“The pub’s current operators have expressed confidence that the proposed development will have no material impact on the operation or future viability of the existing public house.

“Moreover, the dwellings will contribute to local housing stock and provide much-needed workflow to small, local builders and contractors.”