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Persimmon Homes scheme for 250 homes in Thurston described as having 'major deficiencies'

‘Could-be-anywhere’ house designs are under fire after a developer submitted a reserved matters application for 250 homes in Thurston.

The plans, described by critics as having ‘major deficiencies’, relate to outline planning permission granted in 2017 to Persimmon Homes for land west of Ixworth Road.

The details were submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council planners in August, but amended in November and again earlier this month.

The locations of sites for a proposed 827 homes in Thurston.Map: Google Earth. (6717347)
The locations of sites for a proposed 827 homes in Thurston.Map: Google Earth. (6717347)

However neighbours and consultees are still unhappy, citing the ‘intrusive’ proposed layout and saying they feel Persimmon has not taken residents' views on board.

Chris Wright, of Thurston, said: “The concerns raised by several residents as well as the Suffolk Preservation Society have been ignored, despite other developers within the village adopting a more considerate approach.”

Meanwhile, Suffolk Preservation Society has also objected, with director Fiona Cairns saying ‘major deficiencies’ could be summarised as lack of creative and contextualised design, car parking dominance, inadequate walking and cycling consideration, roads and parking dictating street shapes, could-be-anywhere house types, absence of townscape features and compromised liveability standards.

Cllr Derrick Haley, Mid Suffolk District Council ward member for Thurston, said he was concerned Persimmon had not contacted himself or fellow Thurston ward member Cllr Esther Jewson throughout the entire process.

"You think to yourself, 'what's the problem with talking to the ward members?'," said Cllr Haley.

The Persimmon scheme is one of five in Thurston – totalling more than 800 homes combined – which won planning permission in 2017.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Suffolk said: "Persimmon has held several meetings and workshops with Thurston Parish Council and a number of adjoining landowners and is targeting the February 13 planning committee.

“The development will provide a significant contribution to the local community in terms of Section 106, community infrastructure levy and affordable housing.”

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