Lakenheath plan backed in spite of nearby halt notices and appeal

The site on the left of Eriswell Road where 140 houses are proposed
The site on the left of Eriswell Road where 140 houses are proposed
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A plan for up to 140 homes in Lakenheath has been re-approved by councillors on the day a nearby site was refused by a planning inspector.

Forest Heath District Council’s Development Control Committee decided on Wednesday to back its 2014 decision to give outline permission for Elveden Farms’ plan for land in Eriswell Road.

A planning inspector refused an appeal for 120 homes in Broom Road on Wednesday afternoon. The decision also follows the Communities and Local Government secretary having served notices to halt decisions on three other housing sites in Lakenheath.

The Department for Communities and Local Government also told the Bury Free Press on Wednesday that it will serve a halt notice on Eriswell Road.

Principal planning officer Gareth Durrant said Eriswell Road was brought back to committee because of significant changes since it was granted. His report listed nine including new planning polices, conservation issues, plans for other large housing developments in the village and a report on their traffic impact and new jet noise contours from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

He said the Broom Road inspector made ‘comments transferable to this site’.

Her main objections were its visual impact on the area and on nearby sites of special scientific interest. But she also talked of congestion at the B1112/Eriswell Road junction, though felt there was space to change it, and highlighted the impact of aircraft noise especially outdoors.

Mr Durrant drew attention to her attaching ‘limited weight’ to the noise issue.

But Hermione Brown, Lakenheath Parish Council’s planning chairwoman, said the Eriswell Road developer’s noise assessment was made before the DIO published new noise profiles in January.

She added: “We suggest that an acceptable level of residential amenity cannot be created for the proposed dwellings and of users of the outside open spaces.”

The developer’s consultant said its 2013 noise survey was ‘more robust than the RAF noise contours”.

Lakenheath councillor Louise Marston said the Broom Road inspector’s comments accepted changes at the B112 junctions. She added: “For me the benefits outweigh the disbenefits.”

Simon Cole urged her to negotiate with developers for lights at the junction, as he had in Exning.

One councillor voted against approval.