Homes plan is ‘way over the needs’ of Whelnetham

Erskine Lodge, Great Whelnetham ANL-140826-154145009
Erskine Lodge, Great Whelnetham ANL-140826-154145009
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Villagers backing the idea of affordable houses in Great Whelnetham say a proposed 78 homes is just too many.

About 60 people attended Whelnetham’s parish council meeting on Wednesday to put their views on the proposals from the Havebury Housing Partnership for 17 homes at Fenton’s Farm and 61 on the site of Erskine Lodge old people’s accommodation and neighbouring land.

The village’s borough councillor Terry Clements said he had proposed Havebury built fewer homes on Fenton’s Farm and offset that with homes on the Erskine Lodge site alone.

He added: “This development is way over the needs there are in Whelnetham.”

He and several members of the public said St Edmundsbury’s Vision 2031 plan recognised the need for 10 homes in the village.

However, a spokesman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said today that Vision 2031 suggested 10 homes on the farm site while a development brief still had to be agreed for Erskine Lodge.

Many residents supported the need for affordable homes in the village but Dick Kirby was clapped by the meeting when he said: “Havebury is responsible for estates like the Howard and Mildenhall Road – do we really want these sorts of estates being part of Great Whelnetham?”

Another resident Judith Phillips objected to flats in the plans, saying: “That’s a town thing, not a village one.”

Other objected to the way the flats would overlook their homes and many felt Fenton’s Farm would raise flood risk.

The parish council decided to write to St Edmundsbury’s planners for clarification on numbers of homes proposed for the village in Vision 2031.

Scott Bailey, head of development at Havebury Housing Partnership said after the meeting:“We are still in the early stages of preparing a planning application for new homes in Great Whelnetham and will consider the comments being made.”

Click here for our story on Great Whelnetham’s need for more parish councillors