West Suffolk Council rejects plans for new holiday lodges at All Saints Hotel
A hotel owner has been left baffled by a council’s decision to reject plans for holiday lodges near Bury St Edmunds which, he said, would have ‘brought something very unique to the town’.
David Harris, of M&D Developments and owner of the All Saints Hotel, first submitted an application for 70 holiday lodges on the edge of the hotel’s golf course to West Suffolk Council in February 2019 but later withdrew the plans.
He submitted a fresh application, this time for 35 lodges, in August but the plans were rejected last week.
“We were not expecting that, he said. “Planning officers had been very diligent in their approach to the application but obviously members have gone against the officers’ recommendations.
“We had so many people and organisations supporting the plans so I’m just not sure where the balance is. I’m still trying to think about it.”
In its decision letter, which listed the reasons for refusing the plans, the council said the site ‘makes an important contribution to the setting of Bury St Edmunds and the gap between the town and the village of Fornham All Saints’ and that the development would ‘further reduce the gap between settlements’.
But Mr Harris said the decision to refuse the plans was ‘a shame’.
“It would have been something very unique for this town,” he said.
“It would have created 25 new jobs straight away and we’re losing a new opportunity for visitors in Bury.”
He added that he would review and possibly appeal the decision.
Last Wednesday also saw plans for 48 retirement flats to be built on the former Lloyds Bank site in Risbygate Street given the go-ahead by the council.
Led by Churchill Retirement Living, the plans will see communal areas and car parking built on the site as well as the flats.
Stuart Goodwill, managing director of Churchill Retirement Living’s in-house planning consultancy, said there was a ‘compelling need for older people’s housing’ in Bury St Edmunds and that this project was ‘good news for the town’.
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More by this authorRhoda Morrison