Felixstowe – Landguard Lodge demolition  

SPS objected to an application which included the demolition of Landguard Lodge and Cottage, both late 19th century buildings with an important military history in a prominent seafront location.

There has been much local opposition to the proposal, resulting in East Suffolk Council now serving an Article 4(1) direction, removing the rights of the owners to demolish the building. The Council has to decide whether to confirm the notice within 6 months – further details including how to make representations can be found here.

Historic England image from 1953

East Suffolk Council are also considering submitting the building to Historic England for assessment for listing. We await the outcome of both processes with interest.

Conversion of a dovecote, Thurlow Estate

SPS has made a strong objection to an application to convert a 17th century dovecote on the Thurlow Estate into a 3 bedroom dwelling. We are concerned that the application’s heritage assessment does not fully assess the significance of the building. We also object to the intensive conversion proposed, the potential loss of historic fabric, scale of the proposed extension and the impact upon the conservation area.

Bungay, demolition and replacement dwelling

SPS has objected to an application for the replacement of Willow Fen, in Bungay. Willow Fen is on the edge of the Bungay Conservation Area adjacent to the site of Bungay Castle and Castle Hills, both Scheduled Ancient Monuments.  The current building is a 1960’s single storey structure which, although unlisted and not typical of other dwellings, is highlighted in the 2022 Conservation Area Appraisal as a structure making a positive contribution. SPS is of the view that any replacement dwelling should preserve and enhance the character of the Conservation Area and we raised concerns that the proposals to include a second storey as well as garaging to the front of the property would increase the bulk and prominence of the replacement dwelling within views of the castle from the west and within the street scene.

Quarry and cement batching plant at Brockley Wood, Belstead

SPS was asked by Bentley Parish Council to review the latest documents supporting the planning application for a quarry. The site has been allocated for sand and gravel extraction in the SCC Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2020. After carefully considering the documents, SPS submitted a strong objection as the proposal may cause significant impacts on a sensitive natural and historic built environment.

The site is within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB Project Area and is a Valued Landscape which, in the terms of the NPPF, means it has demonstrable physical attributes which take this site beyond mere countryside. It is also within 300m of Bentley Old Hall, a grade II* hall house which retains its largely unaltered, remote setting defined by large blocks of ancient woodland and working arable landscape. The layout of the proposal goes beyond that of the site allocation and includes a concrete batching plant which is located close to the Hall rather than to the west of the site closer to the A12.

Walberswick, Box Cottage now grade II listed

In the summer SPS responded to a planning application for alterations to Box Bush, an Arts and Crafts dwelling located on the western edge of Walberswick, within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. The building is a well-preserved example of Frank Jennings work, a local architect who designed a number of buildings in Walberswick in the Arts and Crafts style. Jennings’ body of work makes an important contribution to the historic environment of the village and therefore SPS considered that the building met the relevant architectural and historic interest criteria to qualify the building as a Non-Designated Heritage Asset. We argued that every effort should be made to carefully control works of external alteration.

We are therefore delighted to report that the building has been spot listed. Full details of the listing entry can be found here.

We expect the application will now be withdrawn as a listed building application, with a heritage appraisal, and appropriate consultations will now be required.

Solar, wind and energy transmission – Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects an update

A decision on the Sunnica Energy scheme which would cover a total of 2800acres in West Suffolk/ East Cambridgeshire was expected at the end of September.  However more time has been given to consider the proposals and a decision is delayed to 7 December.  

SPS has consistently opposed this development, believing that such an outsized industrialisation across two counties is detrimental to both communities and the landscape, as well as taking good quality agricultural land out of food production. This delay by the Government will only add to the anxieties of affected communities.

Campaign group ‘Together Against Sizewell C’ has been granted permission to appeal to the High Court against the 2022 consent for the Sizewell C nuclear power station on the grounds of an inadequate supply of potable water.

Meanwhile SASES (Substation Action Save East Suffolk) has been granted permission to appeal the development consent orders for EA1N and EA2 wind farms, which included substations and a National Grid connection hub being built at Friston, on the two grounds of flood risk and cumulative impact. 

Other NSIP projects impacting the county continue to move forward.  The Examination into the Bramford to Twinstead 400kV pylon line began this month.

A consultation into the LionLink interconnector project, which will connect energy generated offshore to both the UK and the Netherlands via subsea cables, is ongoing.

SPS retrofit workshop

We are now taking bookings for our Autumn retrofit training event in partnership with Historic England and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Building to be held on November 22nd at Haughley Park Barn.