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Plans to build homes in Woolpit refused

Plans to build 45 homes in Woolpit have been refused amid concerns over pedestrian and highway safety.

Charles Church Ltd submitted an application for 45 homes on land to the south of Rags Lane, which was considered at Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee on Wednesday.

Planning officers had recommended refusal on the basis that “the lack of pedestrian connectivity to local services would not represent a sustainable location for residential development”.

The site where the 45 homes would have been built.
The site where the 45 homes would have been built.

It added that the development would “result in an unacceptable highway safety outcome by way of increased potential for vehicle and pedestrian conflict in Rags Lane and Drinkstone Road”.

Councillor Kathie Guthrie, chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee B, said: “While the committee felt that proposed development was in keeping with the village, the fact is that the lack of pedestrian routes in and out of the site, especially along Rags Lane and Drinkstone Road, were simply not acceptable.

“Additional houses in this location would put more pressure on the roads and, in the absence of a secure pedestrian route into the village centre, could put lives at risk as more pedestrians and car users share the road.

“For that reason the committee unanimously felt they had no option but to refuse permission.”

Woolpit Parish Council had raised objections to the scheme citing pinch points at the Drinkstone Road and Green Road junction, increased traffic being brought into the conservation area and no significant contributions to the community, among other issues.

Its most recent consultation comment said: “The centre of Woolpit now suffers frequent severe congestion and is unable to accept the additional traffic that this development will create.”

A previous application had been submitted for the same site for 60 homes, which was subsequently withdrawn and the revised 45-home plan submitted.

The proposals had attracted 49 objections from locals during the consultation period.

A spokesman on behalf of the developers said: “Naturally we are disappointed with the outcome at the planning committee.

“We will now carefully consider our options before deciding on the next course of action.”