Suffolk

Melton 'cheese wedges' housing plan approved

An artist's impression of how the homes will look Image copyright Active Urban Property Group
Image caption The design of the homes, shown here in an artist's impression, have been likened to wedges of cheese

Plans to build 100 homes which have been described locally as "cheese wedges" have been approved.

East Suffolk Council's planning committee approved the proposal on the authority's former office site in Melton, near Woodbridge.

More than 200 objections were lodged, including from members of the public, other councils, Historic England and the National Trust.

Among the concerns included the design and impact on air quality.

The plans had previously been approved in April 2018 but were withdrawn by the developers that August, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A second application which reduced the number of affordable homes from 32 to 16 was refused, but an appeal on that decision remains with the Planning Inspectorate.

The latest plans included minor amendments and re-instated the original number of affordable homes.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The former council offices will be demolished

The proposals were approved by seven votes to two despite a gathering of more than 30 protestors outside the council building who were calling for the authority to launch a design competition, inviting ideas that could then be put to the public.

Rachel Smith-Lyte, Green councillor for Melton, said: "It seems a bit bonkers to me when so many existing residents who do matter think that not enough weight is given to their very real concerns."

Colin Brown from Carter Jonas, the agent for developer Active Urban Property Group, said at the time of the original application it had "difficulty in securing a social landlord".

He added: "The overall position has now shifted and the reason this application has been submitted is because Active Urban have been able to negotiate a position with a social landlord called Sage Housing."

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