Plans approved after 10 years

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FINAL changes and amendments to plans for a new community centre and 200 homes have been approved by planning officers.

The final phase of development at Cedars Park, in Stowmarket, has finally been given the go-ahead after more than 10 years in the pipeline.

Plans submitted by developer Crest Nicholson for a community centre, sports facilities, public open space and 209 homes were given the green light in July, subject to a number of amendments, including design and sustainability of the centre and ownership of the land.

Changes to the community hall and phasing of the project were addressed and approved by committee members at a Mid Suffolk District Council planning control committee meeting held on Wednesday.

Now a decision has been made work at the development must commence within the year.

The community centre will now feature an office and lounge area as well as separate meeting rooms. Negotiations over the cost and available Section 106 funding are ongoing.

The phasing of the build has also been amended, with the community centre, football pitch, part of the housing development and road structure due to be completed by February 2014. Phase two, including the village centre and the remaining residential area, is to be completed by 2015 and 2017.

The full development proposal also includes plans for three commercial units, including shops, and public open space.

The Cedars Park Residents’ Association (CPRA) and homeowners on the estate, who have supported the development, will be relieved that it is now going ahead.

Representations from the community said that there is a ‘long overdue need’ for community facilities.

They said that there is currently no sense of community on the development.

A statement from the CPRA said: “The prevailing view of the CPRA is that the development as a whole is favourable to the community and provides a much needed amenity.”

Developer Crest Nicholson must contribute £435,000 plus the land towards the community centre, and a further £16,000 towards the Suffolk Car Share Scheme, travel plan monitoring and the provision of public art.