Council backs future development brief

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THE APPROVAL of a development in a conservation area of Bury St Edmunds has led to renewed calls for the creation of a future development brief.

Last week, St Edmundsbury Borough Council approved plans for a new home on the eastern side of Albert Street, which will be constructed at the end of a long garden attached to a property in neighbouring Victoria Street.

This raised fierce objections from neighbours.

“Our view is that even more tightly packed ‘pastiche’ infill development and traffic congestion will spoil Albert Street and change forever the historical ambience of this delightful conservation area,” said residents Sarah Ruczaj and Terry Fenner.

It will be the fourth development of its kind in Albert Street, with the first approved back in 2005. The ‘narrowest house in Britain’ was built as a result of an earlier application.

Cllr Paul Farmer, who represents the Abbeygate ward on the town and borough council, where the new build is planned, said the new houses had improved the area.

“But I think what’s emerged as a group of houses isn’t as good or well thought out as it would have been if there had been a master plan,” he said.

When objecting to the first development, Cllr Farmer was concerned of ‘a piecemeal higgledy-piggledy growth of buildings’ and called for the development of a master plan for plots with back gardens from Victoria Street.

This was never drawn up but last week the town council, which ‘strongly supports the construction of a development brief for this area’, asked the borough council, as planning authority, to work to achieve one.

Cllr Farmer said: “As every house is built a master plan becomes less relevant because we’re talking about diminishing space, but it’s the last chance to ensure something like this, which has caused a lot of upset for residents, won’t happen again.”