Backlash to proposal to build home in Bury St Edmunds access lane

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Plans to build a bungalow in place of an existing double garage in a lane in Bury St Edmunds have sparked concerns from nearby residents.

Applicant David Cook is proposing to knock down a garage – located on an access lane off Northgate Avenue – and build a single-storey home, along with a parking space and a garden wall, in its stead.

But residents in Norfolk Road and Tollgate Lane, who use the lane to access the back of their properties, have criticised the plans as ‘unsuitable’ for the location, an ‘overdevelopment of a small in-fill site’ and ‘likely to cause’ them inconvenience.

Beverley Smith said: “We’re all in agreement really, it is a stupid place.

“There’s no proper road –it’s idiotic.

“It’s always been garages, all the years I’ve lived here.”

Amanda Wilson said: “It was a bit of a shock really that someone would try and squeeze a property in what seems to be such a small space.”

Geoffrey Pickess said: “My concern is it’s a totally unsuitable place to build a house – the only access is from a rough, unlit track.”

He and other residents have further criticised the proposals for not complying with current planning guidelines, that of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

He is worried that approving the application could create a snowball effect, prompting similar ‘unsuitable’ applications to be made.

A group petition appealing against the plans was expected to be submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council today.

It says: “Access to the site and site set-up during the building work is likely to cause inconvenience/obstruction to existing residents due to the restrictive nature of the access lane.”

It also states that the access road is ‘an unmade up road surface with no visitors’ parking facilities and no off-road parking’ and that the proposal gives ‘inadequate space provision to be considered appropriate for habitation’.

“At 37.2sqm it would be too small to live in, a one bed dwelling should be at least 45sqm,” says the petition.

Mr Cook declined to comment at this stage of the application process.