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Plans to continue using Hemingstone Fruit Farm, near Ipswich and Needham Market, as ambulance park rejected

Plans to use land in a Suffolk village as an ambulance park have been refused.

Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) last week rejected proposals to continue using land at Hemingstone Fruit Farm, between Ipswich and Needham Market, to store private ambulances.

The applicant also wished to place a building to act as an office and control room.

Plans to continue using Hemingstone Fruit Farm as an ambulance park have been refused. Picture: Google
Plans to continue using Hemingstone Fruit Farm as an ambulance park have been refused. Picture: Google

Planning documents said the site was already in use as an ambulance park when the proposals were submitted, meaning the application was made retrospectively.

The applicant said it was not emergency vehicles being stored at the site, instead offering patient transport services as well as being used for events for clients such as the NHS and nursing homes.

MSDC said the plans, which would have seen the extension of a small industrial site, were unacceptable.

In its refusal notice, authority said: “The proposal would detrimentally affect the character of the surrounding landscape introducing an alien and uninspired building into the open rural countryside and would not respond to, nor reflect the character of existing buildings within the application site and immediate surroundings.

“The industrial character of the building alongside the presence of emergency vehicles entering to and from the site would add to the urbanisation of an otherwise rural agricultural location, outside of any settlement boundary.”

Hemingstone Parish Council expressed deep concerns for any extension to the site over fears it would increase business, lead to higher volumes and more intrusion for the village.

Three objections to the plans were raised by residents.

One resident said it was not necessary that the ambulances be stored at the site.

They also said the vehicles were clearly visible and ‘come and go’ 24/7.

Another resident said there were significant noise and light disturbances.

The resident said: “We are now afforded no privacy with our two rear facing bedrooms facing directly into the ambulance parking area.

“We can no longer enjoy our garden as we have an audience from the ambulance park and we hear reversing warning signals from the vehicles in the vicinity and the light pollution is disturbing.

“What was a wheat field is now a semi-industrial area devoid of wildlife and full of noise and light pollution.

A third resident described the ambulance park as ‘unsightly’ and called for the operators of the park to plant trees and hedgerows on the north and western edges of the site.