Controversial plans to build 46 flats in Bury St Edmunds will go ahead after being granted planning permission by the Planning Inspectorate.
The proposal, which will see 46 flats and one commercial unit built on the EMG used car site in Tayfen Road, was considered at a planning inquiry held at the Forest Heath District Council offices in Mildenhall last month.
Inspector Gareth Jones led the inquiry, after St Edmundsbury Borough Council failed to reach a decision on the original application put forward by developers Kingsway Homes Ltd last March.
In his report, Mr Jones concluded that the plans ‘should be approved without delay’ as they ‘would bring a number of benefits’ to the town, including the ‘remediation and more efficient use of a prominent previously developed site’ which he said is currently ‘unsightly’.
While Mr Jones’ report noted residents’ concerns about the building’s effect on highway safety, parking and congestion, he said that he could find ‘no sustantiated evidence’ to refuse planning permission on these bases.
Residents also criticised the look of the building, with Jill Anderson, of the adjoining Peckham Street, calling it an ‘ugly concrete monstrosity’ at the inquiry.
But in his report, Mr Jones said it would ‘represent a very marked improvement on the appearance of the existing site as a car sales use such that the character and appearance of the area woulld be much enhanced as a result of the scheme’.
The report also stated that planning permission should be granted ‘subject to identified conditions’.
Mr Jones said that the plans required ‘adequate remediation of any contamination’ to protect future residents and that construction work should be controlled ‘to protect the living conditions of local residents’.
Other conditions included the control of off-site highways work, the maintenance of the proposed landscape works and the installation of refuse and recyclable storage facilities.