The following is a summary of the key areas of work that the SPS professional staff has been focussed on. Our representations can be read, in full, by selecting the town/village name.
Felixstowe Golf Course -plans have been submitted by the golf club to demolish the existing clubhouse and club shop and replace with a new building which would provide updated facilities as well as a venue which could be used for other events. SPS has supported the contemporary design approach to the scheme which lies within the AONB but raised concerns over a residential element to the scheme. In order to finance the project 6 dwellings are proposed on the site which will be the only residential buildings on the seaward side of Cliff Road.
SPS also raised questions about the Martello tower which is owned by the golf club and is on the Historic England Heritage at Risk register, calling for the local authority to take the opportunity presented by this project to secure funds towards its improvement.
Bury St Edmunds, St Andrews Street South – 9 houses and a car park for 334 cars on part of site of St Benedict’s Lower School. SPS has submitted comments due to the impact on the grade II* listed St Andrews Castle which is immediately adjacent to the site. We acknowledged that this is a brownfield site and welcome the opportunity to enhance the setting of the Castle as part of a redevelopment. However, we were concerned that the scale of the car park, vehicle movements and lighting and the scale and design of the dwellings may result in greater harm to its setting.
Boxford, Sand Hill – proposal for 64 dwellings and a community building which is an amendment to a previous scheme on this site for 80 dwellings which was refused last year. Babergh planning committee had cited landscape harm and a lack of community benefit in refusing the previous scheme. SPS has raised objections to the amended scheme, which is on an unallocated elevated site on the edge of the village, due to the impact on the landscape and impact of proposed ‘road improvements’ on the historic core of the village.
Bures, Cuckoo Hill – SPS has written to the planning inspector regarding an appeal against an enforcement notice to demolish 2 dwellings to the rear of a listed building and within a conservation area. Babergh DC had issued the notice following refusal of a retrospective application to vary the heights and position of the dwellings which, having being built, varied from the consented planning application. SPS had objected to the retrospective application on the basis of the impact on the setting of the listed building and has urged that the enforcement notice is upheld.
Outcomes of interest to SPS:
Kedington – 140 dwellings. SPS had objected to a speculative development on a greenfield site on the edge of Kedington. The site is within the Stour Valley Project area, is unallocated and is on the sensitive east edge of the village. West Suffolk is able to demonstrate a 5-year supply of housing land, the proposal is clearly contrary to local plan policy, and it would have a detrimental impact on the landscape. The application has been refused.
Thurston – a further site for 210 dwellings has received consent from MSDC despite the site not being allocated within the adopted Thurston Neighbourhood Plan. In approving the application, MSDC identified a shortfall of sites allocated within the Neighbourhood Plan to fulfil an updated requirement of 1468 dwellings identified in the emerging Mid Suffolk District Council Local Plan. This decision calls into question the status of an adopted Neighbourhood Plan which has been passed by an Examiner against a draft local plan which has yet to undergo final consultations and Examination.
Hartest, The Paddocks – SPS had supported the Neighbourhood Plan group in once again raising concerns regarding this scheme for 6 houses on the edge of the village, within the conservation area. This proposal was being considered for the third time, having twice been approved by Babergh planning committee, contrary to officer recommendation, and twice been successfully challenged by a local resident via judicial review. The application was this time refused by the committee.
Hoxne – SPS had objected to a scheme of 5 dwellings on a former nursery site. Hoxne is a poly focal settlement with two separate conservation areas. We therefore raised concerns that residential development of this site would impact this distinct settlement character. The application has been refused.
Needham Market – 1 dwelling within the conservation area. SPS had welcomed the redevelopment of this prominent brownfield site within the conservation area. However we had raised concerns regarding the design, in particular the High Street elevation. The application has been withdrawn,
EADT Director’s column: ‘What the preservation society does on a daily basis’ (8 February 2020)
Sunday Telegraph, letter to the editor. Environmental impacts of Sizewell C (23 February 2020)