New housing plan for five hectare Beck Row site

Persimmon Homes' plan for land next to the Smokehouse Inn site, Skeltons Drove, Beck Row ANL-150210-112140001
Persimmon Homes' plan for land next to the Smokehouse Inn site, Skeltons Drove, Beck Row ANL-150210-112140001
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A revised plan for housing on a Beck Row site that has been proposed for homes since 1991 goes before Forest Heath planners next Wednesday.

Persimmon Homes has revised its plans for five hectares that run south of Skeltons Drove from the Smokehouse Inn site to Holmsey Green to 166 homes, including 49 affordable homes. It also wants 24 homes it is building under an existing planning consent, at the Holmsey Green end, included in the new permission.

The site has been subject to seven applications for housing since 1991 and permission was granted in 2007 for 150 homes for USAF personnel.

The new scheme was originally submitted to Forest Heath District Council in July 2014 when the developer’s viability study suggested it would not be viable with affordable housing.

But an independent review was carried out and Persimmon have now amended the plan to include 49 one- to four-bedroomed affordable homes, while the remaining 117 will be sold on the open market, not limited to USAF personnel.

When Forest Heath’s Development Control Committee considers it on Wednesday, it will be recommended to approve the plans subject to planning conditions and a Section 106 agreement for cash towards education, public open space, transport and healthcare.

Beck Row Parish Council objected to the July 2014 plan saying that ‘further large scale development’ would be detrimental to the village and expressing concern about the lack of affordable housing, the impact on Beck Row Primary School and that there was not enough local employment for the site’s future residents.

Of the new plan, it says it is concerned about the road layout with heavy farm vehicles using the Holmsey Green junction with the A1101 and it is still concerned about employment.

Planning officers reported that the 2009 Infrastructure and Environmental Capacity Assessment said Beck Row could take another 240-420 homes and this plan, with four others granted, would bring the number planned up to 399.