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Onehouse 446-home development in Union Road prompts boundary row with Stowmarket Town Council and parish council





A new housing development is proving controversial as disagreements continue over boundary lines.

The new development in Union Road sits between Stowmarket and neighbouring village Onehouse and both local councils believe the 446 homes should fall into their boundaries for different reasons.

At a Stowmarket Town Council meeting last Wednesday, council members spoke about how they felt frustrated with Mid Suffolk District Council’s decision to make the homes a part of Onehouse.

The Union Road development has proved controversial among local authorities. Picture: Google Maps (62616593)
The Union Road development has proved controversial among local authorities. Picture: Google Maps (62616593)

Cllr Nick Gowrley said: “It’s unbelievable that we’re still here arguing this one and to me it is a total dereliction of duty by the district council.

“At the end of the day, the residents in those houses will not be looking at Onehouse – they’re looking at Stowmarket.

“The district council just doesn’t accept it – why? It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Cllr Nick Gowrley. Picture: Stowmarket Town Council
Cllr Nick Gowrley. Picture: Stowmarket Town Council

The development will introduce approximately 1,053 new residents to the area – more than doubling the current Onehouse population.

Council Tax including a precept and about 15 per cent of the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) funding will go to Onehouse Parish Council and this funding helps the council to develop and maintain the infrastructure needed to support development in their area.

However, the council originally objected to the planning application for the development as it would ‘erode the identity of Onehouse village’ and that there was a ‘need for continued separation from Stowmarket’.

Nicky Willshere, chairman of Onehouse Parish Council, said: “I’ve always been a believer that we can work together to do what’s best for the town’s residents and community – but disappointingly that hasn’t always been the same view point from Stowmarket Town Council.

Nicky Willshere, chairman of Onehouse Parish Council. Picture: Submitted
Nicky Willshere, chairman of Onehouse Parish Council. Picture: Submitted

“There just seems to be a lot of blinkers and actually it would be a far better place and work more for everybody if there was a lot more collaboration.”

Mid Suffolk District Council said it was aware that Stowmarket Town Council wish to review parish boundaries, however this can only be done following further consultation with the town council, parish council, the Boundary Commission and residents.

A spokesman said: “This development straddles a parish boundary that has been in place for many years.

“In the meantime, we’re committed to providing homes and services for people regardless of which side of a parish boundary they live on and providing everyone within our district wth somewhere they are proud to call home.”

A map view of where the development is located. Picture: Stowmarket Town Council
A map view of where the development is located. Picture: Stowmarket Town Council
The housing development during construction. Picture: Nicky Willshere
The housing development during construction. Picture: Nicky Willshere

Stowmarket Town Council has previously altered the town’s boundaries to extend into Chilton Fields and also another change was made to include the new Gateway 14 business park.

Town clerk David Blackburn said he believed that funding should be put towards supporting the facilities in the town as the two on-site developing companies, Bloor Homes and Hopkins Homes, were marketing the new houses as being within Stowmarket – not Onehouse.

He said: “In our opinion the position is absolutely clear, where development forms a natural extension of Stowmarket it should be included within the town’s boundaries or otherwise 21,000 people in Stowmarket will be subsidising people living next door to them on the edge of Stowmarket.

“There will be significant financial contributions to be paid by the developer from the Union Road site and they should be invested in key facilities within Stowmarket that are available to everyone in and around the town, rather than on for example, the Village Hall in Onehouse.”

A spokesperson from Bloor Homes said: “When creating marketing materials for developments across the country we always review the location of the site, and the nearest large towns.

“We acknowledge that the site is located within Onehouse Parish Council, but for marketing purposes we have aligned it to Stowmarket based on its connections to the town, our prospective purchasers’ knowledge of Suffolk and for the purpose of any internet searches.”