Residents see red over green field plans

Residents in Needham Market are against the planning proposals for 38 new homes
Residents in Needham Market are against the planning proposals for 38 new homes
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A proposal to build 38 new homes on a Special Landscape Area green field site in Needham market has been met with fierce opposition by nearby residents.

An application for the homes on land west of Anderson Close were submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council on Christmas Eve.

After finding out about the proposal, a group of residents set up a Facebook group, which has more than 260 members already, and a fighting fund to battle the application.

On Wednesday evening, a packed Needham Market Community Centre, along with the Town Council, was shown a presentation of the plans by landowner Peter Haylock and planning consultant Philip Cobbold.

Mr Haylock explained the site would provide 13 affordable homes in the town in line with the district council’s affordable housing policy, would provide enough parking spaces for two cars for every property and was a more suitable building site than many brown field sites in the town.

But concerns were raised about developing an unspoilt piece of land, on parking and traffic problems, sewage and drainage and the affect the growth of the town would have on schools and health services in the area.

Residents also objected to the development being built on a Special Landscape Area which may harm local wildlife.

Land and property consultant Peter Le Grys, representing those who object to the plans, described the proposal as ‘an urban sprawl into the countryside’

“The proposal is contrary to the council’s development plan and the national planning policy framework,” he said.

Anthony Spilman, who lives near the proposed site, said the field was home to varied wildlife such as house martins and swifts and that the development would ruin their habitat.

He said: “We are very supportive of sustainable development in the town but this is really not sustainable.”

Mr Haylock and Mr Cobbold were unavailable for comment.

Residents have until February 20 to submit their objections to Mid Suffolk District Council.