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Next phase of 1,150 home development near Haverhill approved despite worries over hedgerows removal

Planning approval has been given for the next phase of work on more than 1,100 homes near Haverhill.

Outline planning permission was granted for 1,150 homes in March 2015 for the North West Haverhill Strategic Site allocated in the Haverhill Vision 2031 plan, and the first phase of 200 homes is complete.

West Suffolk Council’s development control committee yesterday unanimously agreed to the matters around layout, access and appearance for the next phase, 2A, for the next 41 homes.

The layout of the Persimmon Homes development north west of Haverhill. Submitted image
The layout of the Persimmon Homes development north west of Haverhill. Submitted image

Stuart McAdam from developer Persimmon Homes, said: “This follows the incredibly successful first phase of development, of which only five of the 200 units remain unsold, and seeks to allow for a smooth transition of construction from phase one to phase two.”

Mr McAdam said it would prove to be an “attractive addition to the town” and would focus on family homes.Twelve of the 41 homes have been designated affordable.

While the committee granted unanimous approval for the reserved matters, there were concerns about the planned removal of more hedgerows.

It followed 400-year-old hedges being dug up in the first phase unexpectedly, and according to Persimmon the hedgerow removal was needed to provide drainage routes for the development.

However, ward councillor Joe Mason said: “It’s essential that we retain hedgerows where possible for the ecological benefits they bring to the environment” and said the “clear intention to uproot many of these hedgerows constitutes a material loss to the ecology”.

He added: “I object to these plans in their current format until proper consideration is given to protecting these important species-rich habitats.”

More can be read about that issue HERE

Haverhill Town Council also objected, with issues around some homes not meeting suggested national space standards and the homes facing the main road being too tall and imposing among its chief concerns.

However, the committee was in general support of the plans, which would allow the next phase of work to get underway.

Work on the planned relief road as part of the wider scheme is likely to begin in spring 2021, according to councillor John Burns, with delays thus far understood to be down to work over underground fibre optic cables which has not been carried out yet.

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