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Plans for more than 80 homes approved on land off Rabbit Hill Covert, Station Road in Lakenheath

Planning approval for the final matters of an 81-home development in Lakenheath in the pipeline for more than four years has been secured.

West Suffolk Council's development control committee on Wednesday morning approved the final matters - access, layout, scale, appearance and landscaping - for land off Rabbit Hill Covert, Station Road, to be developed.

The site was among a handful to be embroiled in a 2017 call-in by the then-Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, which delayed proceedings.

Land off Station Road, Lakenheath, where 81 homes are to be developed. Picture: Google Maps
Land off Station Road, Lakenheath, where 81 homes are to be developed. Picture: Google Maps

Outline permission for the greenfield agricultural land was granted in September 2018, with final matters being approved by 14 votes with one abstention on Wednesday.

The plans have been developed by Evera - a partnership of four housing associations - which on its website says it aims to have the 8.6-acre site ready for occupation in the summer of 2022.

Peter McKeown from agents Carter Jonas, said there had been a number of revisions to the plans since submission in November last year, but explained: "We feel the revisions made have enhanced the development proposal, and will ensure a high quality development will be taken forward".

He added: "A simple design approach has been adopted, and one that has taken a cue from the local Suffolk vernacular."

The site includes 24 affordable homes - 12 for rental and 12 shared ownership, as well as 194 car parking spaces for the 81 homes and 20 visitor spaces.

A number of trees are set to be removed, but will be replaced on a one-for-one basis.

Approval has been granted on the basis that objections by West Suffolk Council's waste manager around bin collection points are ironed out, as well as the outstanding landscaping points.

Lakenheath Parish Council has objected to the plans, stating that "Lakenheath is still a village and the proposal represents overdevelopment".

It said that the the village "has not got the infrastructure environment to support it," and "the affordable homes will not be affordable to local people".

Councillor Andy Neal raised concerns about certain junctions already struggling to cope with existing vehicle movements.

However, Cllr John Burns said he was "impressed with the density levels - 27.5 per hectare - and it shows that hopefully we have learned something over the last 10 or 15 years".

Cllr David Roach added: "I like the fact they have kept the trees and not tried to get rid of the tree belts. In general, I think this is good."

The site is adjacent to land set for development of 375 homes and a primary school, although it technically remains a separate scheme.

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