Planners defer a decision on 90-home scheme

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A MULTI-million pound housing development in Needham Market will be visited by planners in January to see if the site is still viable.

The planned visit to the former Unilever factory site by members of Mid Suffolk District Council’s (MSDC) planning control committee comes just weeks after developers Taylor Wimpey were told the project was going to be refused.

Representatives from Taylor Wimpey reported at a Needham Market Town Council meeting on Deecember 7 that they had received an email saying the 90-home project was due to be put on hold. This would have delayed it for a year.

But at a planning control committee meeting on December 21 the decision was deferred giving the developers more time to address issues in the plans.

A spokeswoman for MSDC said the project had neither been approved nor refused but that more time would be given to tackle outstanding or unclear viability issues.

The council previously had concerns with the project’s Section 106 obligations which are are increasingly used to support services and infrastructure, such as highways, recreational facilities, education, health and affordable housing.

The application will be reported for decision in February once these negotiations have finished.

A spokesman for Taylor Wimpey said: “We are pleased that Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) decided to change their recommendation from refusal to deferral, and that the planning committee backed their recommendation.

“We will be working closely with MSDC officers to refine our proposals before our application goes back before committee in February.”