Council rejects plan for new flats in Bury St Edmunds

West Suffolk House, Bury St Edmunds
West Suffolk House, Bury St Edmunds
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A council has rejected revised plans to ‘significantly’ extend a block of flats in an area of Bury St Edmunds.

Last Thursday, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee voted to refuse an application to extend Kevor House in Westgate.

Applicant Thingoe Ltd had sought permission to extend the existing block of three two-bedroom flats to create four additional two-bedroom apartments, with parking for eight cars at the rear.

But the plans were labelled ‘unneighbourly and overbearing’ by council officers, who recommended the scheme be turned down, and ‘unacceptable’ and ‘intimidating’ by residents.

Speaking on behalf of residents in Westgate and Hospital Road, Keith Day told the committee the development would only allow one square metre of outside space for each of its residents, ‘barely enough for a chair’, and would lead to a loss of privacy and natural light for neighbours.

“As one resident put it, this building would just be intimidating,” he said.

Cllr Robert Everitt argued that while the current building was ‘hideous’, he thought the latest design could be improved upon and Cllr Alaric Pugh agreed saying he thought ‘far better schemes would be possible’.

“I would like the applicant to go away and think again and come up with a more imaginative scheme,” said Cllr Julia Wakelam.

“I think just agreeing to this because we need more housing is giving in to some form of blackmail, we want a better form of design,” she added.

Cllr Peter Stevens thought it was ‘quite a well thought out design’ but Cllr Angela Rushen moved for refusal based on the proposed size, depth, block and massing and was supported by 11 to four votes.