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Plans for 110 new homes on land south of Darsham Station, near Yoxford, approved by East Suffolk Council despite safety concerns





Plans for 110 new homes have been given the green light despite safety concerns.

Members of East Suffolk’s planning committee met yesterday afternoon to discuss plans for 110 new homes, 36 of which affordable, on a 7.46-hectare portion of land south of Darsham Station, near Yoxford.

The plans, submitted by M Scott Properties Limited, were for the houses to be built along the A12 alongside the delivery of public open space and other associated works.

Plans for 110 new homes on land south of Darsham Station, near Yoxford, have been approved by East Suffolk Council despite safety concerns. Picture: Google Maps
Plans for 110 new homes on land south of Darsham Station, near Yoxford, have been approved by East Suffolk Council despite safety concerns. Picture: Google Maps

They were met with local resistance, however, with the application receiving 24 objection letters as well as formal refusals from Darsham, Yoxford, and Westleton parish councils.

The committee heard from Cllr Heather Ballantine, who represented all three parish councils, about local concerns over the safety of families crossing the road.

She said: “This is purely about 110 houses, not about anything else that is going on — it’s take your life in your hands time if you want to cross the road.”

Councillors also heard from ward member, Cllr Paul Ashton, who said he would have no qualms about refusing the application were it not for the lack of housing in the area, particularly as demand is set to expand as a result of Sizewell C.

He explained: “We have a really challenging housing situation in this area already, young people struggle to get housing and that problem is going to get way worse with Sizewell C.

“This development, while it doesn’t even come close to solving that problem, it does add 110 houses.

“But I would argue it is not safe to walk children and that’s a big concern for me.”

Despite the concerns, the county council’s highways department raised no objections provided the applicant fulfils the works it is proposing within the application.

These included £125,000 to be put toward cycle and footway improvements.

On top of this, arrangements were also made for the company to contribute £540,000 to expand education provision, deliver waste collection services, and library improvements — the money also includes around £98,000 to provide 14 secondary-age pupils school transport for five years.

After a lengthy consideration, councillors were split when it came to granting planning permission, with four votes for its approval and another four against.

Cllr Malcolm Pitchers said: “We can only look at what we got here and I just can’t see that we have any grounds to refuse it based on what we had here already, unless we are calling our experts incompetent.”

Cllr Geoff Wakeling disagreed. He said: “It blows my mind that we’re talking about two potential unsignalled crossing across the A12 for children, I can’t get past that.”

With the vote tied, it came down to Cllr Sarah Plummer, the committee’s chairwoman to decide using her casting vote.

She said: “I have heard a lot of people very concerned about this today but I’m afraid my casting vote is going to go with approval because I do trust our officers to really work very forcefully on where they take this.”

The outline application won approval, meaning specific details about access, appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale would be discussed at the reserved matters stage, to come about no longer than three years from yesterday.