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Botesdale Skylarks development of 69 homes off Diss Road given final approval after design improvements

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Final approval has been granted for 69 homes in Mid Suffolk deferred in the summer over design concerns.

Mid Suffolk District Council's development control B committee voted unanimously on Wednesday morning to approve the final matters around scale, layout, appearance and landscaping for Bennett Homes' proposals off Diss Road in Botesdale, to be known as Skylarks.

Outline approval was granted in July 2018, with approval on the final matters deferred in July because of fears raised that it had not considered the village's neighbourhood plan design checklist enough, with designs dubbed 'bland and lacking in local distinctiveness'.

Example design for the 69 homes development by Bennett Homes in Botesdale. Picture: Bennett Homes
Example design for the 69 homes development by Bennett Homes in Botesdale. Picture: Bennett Homes

Since then, developers have met with the parish council to make a number of changes.

Among those have been reconfigured parking arrangements, an improved pedestrian footpath through the site, instances of overlooking on bungalows removed and a mixed-species buffer hedge being included.

Bennett Homes has also confirmed the properties will feature electric vehicle charging points and air source heat pumps, with some also to feature solar panels.

Diss Road, Botesdale. Picture: Google Maps
Diss Road, Botesdale. Picture: Google Maps

Edward Parker, managing director of Bennett Homes said: “We are delighted to finally have full reserved matters approval to build 69 new homes at our new development called Skylarks in Botesdale, and are looking forward to providing much-needed housing in the area, including 24 affordable homes.”

Planning officer Mahsa Kavyani said developers had made a 'great effort' to engage with the parish council since the last committee.

Councillor James Caston added: "I think this design is a good one. I am pleased to hear the consultation has gone on with the parish council and that has improved the scheme - that is exactly how things should work."

The proposals will feature 45 two-storey market houses and 24 affordable homes - 16 designated as affordable rent.

The land is allocated for development in the parish's neighbourhood plan.

It is not yet clear when work on site will begin.