Decision day on plans for Stanton’s 101 new homes

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PLANS for 101 new homes on the edge of Stanton were expected to be approved yesterday.

Officers advised yesterday’s St Edmundsbury Planning Committee meeting to approve an application from Abbey Homes for the 3.1 hectare site between Upthorpe Road and Hepworth Road after the developer amended the plans to meet many local objections.

However, there were still concerns from villagers that the new estate’s spine road could make traffic problems in the existing roads worse.

Stanton county councillor Joanna Spicer wrote to the committee saying there was still ‘considerable local annoyance’ that the spine road remained a through road and the position of its junction, opposite Blackbourne Middle School was ‘totally unsuitable’.

Stanton Parish Council objected to the exit onto Upthorpe Road. It welcomed Abbey’s changes to the house designs, intended to link them with older village homes, but said their appearance and density was still more in keeping with an urban area.

Planning officers said that by using more expensive red brick and adding features like dormer windows and barge boards, the new homes echoed features of older houses. They also felt that good pedestrian access would stop the site becoming isolated from the village.

English Heritage and several local people were concerned that the listed Stanton Windmill would be affected visually and practically by the development. The 18th century post mill is the only one of its type left in Suffolk and one of only 49 in the country. It is still a working windmill and there were fears that the development, only 130m away, would affect the wind flow to its sails.

A wind study showed the development would reduce wind speed to the mill by 36 per cent for 10 per cent of the year. But by moving buildings back from the boundary, reducing their height and changing their angle, planning officers felt the developments visual and wind speed impact on the mill would be reduced to an acceptable level. As a result of the changes English Heritage and the borough’s conservation officer had withdrawn objections, though the mill owners still expressed concern.