44 homes plan for Elmswell is refused

Hopes by developers to create 44 homes in Elmswell have been dashed by planners at Mid Suffolk District Council.

The authority’s planning committee refused the plans because of safety concerns over residents walking to nearby businesses, in line with officer recommendations that the problems outweigh the benefits.

The scheme to the east of Warren Lane had been put forward by J D and RJ Baker Farms Ltd who initially gained permission for 38 homes in 2018, although they since extended the application site to include countryside land.

James Bailey, agent for the applicants, was quoted as saying the decision for refusal had come “as a surprise and a disappointment” and that they “differ in our findings than the council”.

Officers had previously recommended approving the development in December 2021 and March 2022 but councillors had opted to defer to gain more information.

One of the things councillors wanted to know was the housing land supply in the area. It has since been discovered that housing land supply in the village is enough to meet expected need for more than 10 years, without developing the proposed site.

Another issue that concerned both officers and councillors was the unsafe pedestrian route from the development to nearby businesses to the south of the site.

These include a café and takeaway, alongside employment opportunities such as a trucking company and building materials supplier.

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