Housing scheme comes under fire

A computer illustration for the houses proposed by Persimmon Homes for land on Rags Lane in Woolpit
A computer illustration for the houses proposed by Persimmon Homes for land on Rags Lane in Woolpit
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A proposal to build 60 homes in Woolpit has been heavily criticised by the parish council.

The plans, from Persimmon Homes for part of the Rags Lane area of the village, were discussed last week at a special parish council meeting which was attended by more than 150 residents.

Woolpit, Elmswell and Thurston have been earmarked by Mid Suffolk District Council as hub villages for development because of their local amenities and access to the A14.

But the parish council has objected to the proposal on a number of grounds.

In its comments to the district council, it said the density of 43 homes per hectare was ‘excessive’ and went against Mid Suffolk policy.

Councillors felt a children’s play area should be provided and raised several concerns over the impact on traffic and the village’s road network.

“This development will bring a substantial increase in traffic to the historic core of Woolpit and bring harm to the setting of its conservation area and many listed buildings,” it said.

“The Street is already frequently blocked by commercial vehicles, buses, through traffic and shoppers’ cars and is unable to accept the additional vehicles this proposal will create.”

Others who raised concerns included the highways authority, which recommended the application be refused due to no safe pedestrian footpaths, the increase in traffic in the village and inappropriate layout and scale of the site,

Suffolk Wildlife Trust also objected saying there were insufficient ‘compensation measures’ and no ‘ecological enhancement’ in the scheme. .

In Persimmon Homes’ design and access statement submitted to the council, the firm said: “The proposed scheme will deliver a range of benefits for the local community and contribute to meeting the housing requirements for Mid Suffolk District Council in a sustainable location.”

A spokesman added: “Persimmon Homes held a number of meetings, including with the parish council, district and county council officers, plus a public consultation exercise prior to submission of this application.

“Comments arising have, where possible, been addressed, albeit it is accepted that concerns still exist, which we are continuing to work upon.”