Inspector approves Stowupland homes plan

Keith Welham at the site where the planning inspectors has granted outline planning permission for homes ANL-150114-110657001
Keith Welham at the site where the planning inspectors has granted outline planning permission for homes ANL-150114-110657001

Developers have been granted outline permission for 175 homes at Stowupland after a planning inspector overturned the council’s refusal.

Planning inspector Paul Jackson rejected Mid Suffolk Council’s refusal saying the council’s lack of a five year housing supply plan meant it could not be refused.

The application by Gladman Developments is for 28 acres of land between Gipping Road and Church Road.

Mr Jackson said: “The Council acknowledges that at 3.3 years [housing land supply], it falls well short of a five-year housing supply as required by the National Planning Policy Framework

“It is acknowledged that the council is determined to address this, but at the current time, there is nothing firm to suggest that the shortfall will actually be met.”

Where a council does not have a five-year supply, it’s policies are deemed ‘out of date’.

Mr Jackson added: “Where policies are out of date, the NPPF says permission should be granted unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

He goes on to suggest planned hedgerow and tree planting give a ‘net improvement’ to the environment.

He adds: “The level of harm to heritage significance by means of harm to the settings of Columbine Hall, Holy Trinity Church and the [listed] cottages would be minor or negligible and ‘less than substantial’ in terms of the NPPF.”

Stowupland district councillor Keith Welham said the development is a 19 per cent increase in the size of the village. He said the Stowupland development was ‘not sustainable and should not have been allowed’.

He added: “The district council must address the lack of a five year supply of housing land as a matter of urgency. Until sufficient sites have been identified as available for housing development, every village in Mid Suffolk could be at risk from predatory developers and landowners.”

Jerry Voden, vice chairman of Stowupland Parish Council said, “Village roads are already congested every morning during the school run and at other times most days. Traffic from this development will make things worse.

“We are especially worried about the safety of children at school start and finish times. This hasn’t been taken properly into account; the high school now has 55 per cent more pupils than when the application was submitted.”

Mid Suffolk and Babeburgh are currently working on a joint district plan.

Click here to read how Onehouse fears the same result