Councillors claim villages at risk of unwanted projects

Mark Westley Photography'Mid Suffolk District Council building in Needham Market. ANL-140710-214527009
Mark Westley Photography'Mid Suffolk District Council building in Needham Market. ANL-140710-214527009

Mid Suffolk District Council has been criticised for putting rural villages at risk of unwanted developments as it was revealed the council no longer has a five year land supply.

According to government rules, local authorities must show a five year supply of land approved for house building.

But opposition leader Cllr Andrew Stringer fears developments could be brought forward to make up the shortfall.

He said: “It appears our rural communities are already witnessing unusual numbers of speculative planning applications at the moment, and these applications are directly challenging Mid Suffolk’s five year land supply status, now this appears to be inadequate.

This could bring forward development in rural communities that is unplanned and unwanted.”

“Our communities deserve answers as to why the district has been put at risk, despite repeated calls for action,” he added,

A Mid Suffolk District Council spokeswoman said there was a possibility of an undersupply of around 300 homes over the next five years.

She said: “Mid Suffolk District Council’s latest monitoring information indicates that housing land has not been coming forward for development as expected.

“This means that unless we take prompt steps to bring forward new housing sites, where they are needed, there may be an under supply of about 300 homes, of the 2300 or so required during the next five years.

“To reddress this we are now working with landowners and housebuilders to bring forward sustainable proposals for developments that provide appropriate infrastructure for the community on land which we have not yet allocated through our plan-making process.

“As we carry out this work we would like to reassure people that we will continue to ensure that any new scheme coming forward for consideration does not have significant adverse impacts that would outweigh their benefits for the local community.”