Please see below the response from Debenham Parish Council to Mid Suffolk District Council with regards to the Planning Application DC/21/02982 Land East of Aspall Road:
The Parish Council supports the planning application in principle.
However, it objects to the application on a number of specific grounds, as follows:
Debenham Neighbourhood Plan
The proposal is currently contrary to NP Policy 2c) and Policy 14 a) and b) due to the lack of landscaping to the site boundaries.
NP Policy 2 c): All development proposals for sites adjoining the settlement boundary must avoid hard edges with the existing built-up boundaries, and with the countryside by creating landscape buffers.
NP Policy 14 a) and b): The design and layout of new development on or close to the edge of the village should take account of, respect, and seek to preserve the character of the adjacent countryside, green spaces, and landscape setting by providing appropriate landscaping, open areas and tree planting to act to help, to assimilate the proposal into its context; and b) in order to maintain the historic landscape character of the village, new developments should avoid upper valley sides and ridgelines. In order to mitigate the impact of development on lower slopes, substantial landscape belts should be provided on upper valley sides and ridgelines.
Highway’s safety and access grounds (note SCC Highways holding objection)
There are insufficient measures for a safe pedestrian and cycle access from the site to the school and the rest of the village.
Our recommendation to improve this access would include a 2.4m wide paved shared fenced footpath/cycleway, on the East side of the application site, with crossing across Aspall Road to the Primary School; Together with a priority system on the narrowed Aspall Road, thereby slowing down vehicles entering and leaving the village through Aspall Road, adjacent to the Primary School.
Our recommendation would also include the provision of paved shared pedestrian and cycle access from the site to Priory Lane.
Please note- The submitted plans appear to include a pedestrian route across the Debenham Cemetery. This has not been discussed or agreed upon with the landowner (the Debenham Parish Council).
Flood Risk Grounds (note SCC Floods Planning holding objection)
The report submitted by the applicant states that the site access will be impassable during peak flood events. Insufficient measures have been put in place to mitigate the flooding on the access to the site and further down the village.
The construction site is next to a primary school, in addition to being very close to the High Street and the centre of the village. The lack of a detailed construction management plan for the site had been noted.
It is recommended that a robust site management plan is prepared and is duly considered by the planning authority.
Affordable Housing: This provision has not been defined. The Parish Council asks MSDC to ensure that, based on their Housing Needs Survey, this affordable housing is genuinely affordable and is not withdrawn later on in the planning process due to financial or any other reasons. There is a clear need for genuinely affordable housing in Debenham.
It is suggested that in regard to the land shown in the plan as “open space”, the unencumbered freehold could be transferred to the Parish Council, with a covenant that it is solely used for community use, including cemetery provision but excluding housing development. Such transfer should be accompanied by a commuted sum to ensure its future maintenance.
In addition, a developer contribution could also be made towards the Debenham Play Strategy. With one of Debenham’s main play areas/recreation grounds being adjacent to the site, with a direct access route, the improvements to the provision would benefit any new residents and potentially be capitalised on by the developer.
The developer is strongly encouraged to engage with the Education Authority and the Highways Authority in terms of agreeing on safe access/traffic/parking between the site and the School (other areas have already been highlighted). The school benefits from a large section of land which could be considered for this purpose. Alternatively, consideration could be given to the creation of a bridge between the site and the other side of Aspall Road.
It would be very beneficial, from an economic and environmental perspective, if the developer could consider the provision and inclusion of additional sustainable/green fuels rather than a dependency on solid fuels.