Look at plans as one, says Thurston

Locations of five proposed residential development sites in Thurston totalling 827 new homes (Map: Google Earth)
Locations of five proposed residential development sites in Thurston totalling 827 new homes (Map: Google Earth)
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A council is calling for joined up thinking over planning applications which will see its parish grow by more than 800 homes and two primary schools if given the go ahead.

Hopkins Homes, Bovis Homes, Laurence Homes, Persimmon Homes and Pigeon Capital Management are all seeking planning consent to build residential developments in Thurston.

The first application, for 138 homes, was submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council by Bovis on October 26, last year.

The remaining applications – by Laurence for 64 homes, by Persimmon for 250 homes with provision for a new primary school, by Hopkins for up to 175 and by Pigeon for up to 200 homes and a primary school – were submitted on December 12, 14, 16 and 23 respectively.

The scale of the developments and the speed at which the applications have been submitted have caused 
much concern among residents, with more than 100 having turned up to a parish council planning meeting at the New Green Centre on Thursday.

Thurston Parish Council and the Thurston Neighbourhood Plan Team want the district council to look at the totality of the applications and their impact on all of the village infrastructure and social development.

But Mid Suffolk District Council no longer has a five-year supply of land approved for new homes – something which lapsed in 2015 and will not be assessed again until April – and says it has to consider each application separately, based on the housing stock at that time.

Resident Adrienne Williams said:“It feels like Thurston is being dumped on by developers and the roadways could not cope with the increase in traffic.”

Of Thursday’s meeting, she added: “I think people are incredibly astounded that this number of applications have all happened at once.

“There was a huge amount of appreciation for the great work the parish council has done – they’re doing a very good job representing the views of villagers – and some anger that Mid Suffolk has allowed its housing plan to lapse and hasn’t got a five-year plan, which it is supposed to have.

“I know we’re not the only ones – there’s Elmswell, Woolpit, the A14 corridor – but we just think we have to make a noise about it in terms of people being reasonable about the number of developments that are going to happen.”