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Proposals for retirement living development at soon-to-be-vacated Lavenham Press site draws concerns over potential impact on village




A soon-to-be vacated printing site could be transformed into accommodation for retirees, if newly-submitted plans are given the green light – but residents have aired their concerns about its potential impact on the village.

Developer McCarthy Stone is seeking planning permission from Babergh District Council for a retirement living scheme at Lavenham Press in Water Street, which proposes demolishing the existing building on the site to make way for 35 homes.

With the business set to relocate to alternative premises in 2022, the application proposes replacing the printing press with 21 one-bed units and 14 two-bed units.

Concept image of a proposed retirement housing development in Water Street, Lavenham, by developer McCarthy Stone. Contributed picture. (46840092)
Concept image of a proposed retirement housing development in Water Street, Lavenham, by developer McCarthy Stone. Contributed picture. (46840092)

Alongside the flats, the scheme would also include a residents’ lounge, an entrance lobby and reception, guest accommodation, a landscaped garden, a recycling and refuse store and 31 parking spaces.

A planning statement supporting the application said: “Residential use at the site is far more appropriate than the existing employment use at the site, with noise and traffic movements, which impact on the character and amenity of the area.

“The proposed development fulfils a significant local need for retirement accommodation and smaller dwellings.”

But several villagers have lodged objections, arguing that the proposals do not fit with the setting of Lavenham, and that it would add to traffic problems already present in Water Street and surrounding roads.

Fiona Carville, of Barn Street, said: “I care passionate about Lavenham and care about its future. Growth has to be very carefully managed.

“This development will bring no advantages to Lavenham’s community, only more traffic pollution and worse.”

Lavenham Parish Council confirmed it will discuss the plans at its meeting today.

To view the application, go online to planning.baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk/online-applications, using the reference code DC/21/03185.

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