The Planning Application
An outline planning application will be submitted to West Suffolk Council next month. The application will seek approval for the principle of residential development on the site and the means of access.
Detailed technical surveys and assessments have been carried out to fully understand existing site conditions and the potential impacts of the development. These surveys and assessments are required to support a planning application of this nature and scale. These will include:
- Planning Statement: This report will assess the proposals against national and local planning policy, in particular the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Council’s adopted Local Plan (Haverhill
Vision 2031). In this situation, where the allocated employment land has been marketed for such an extensive period without success, the NPPF requires planning decisions to reflect such changes in the demand for land. It also states that alternative
uses should be supported, where the proposed use would contribute to meeting housing needs in the area. The statement therefore concludes that it is entirely appropriate for the site to be brought forward for residential development, providing much needed new homes in a highly sustainable location.
- Transport Assessment (TA): The scope of the TA has been discussed with Suffolk County Council. One of the objectives of the TA is to provide advice on whether the trips generated by the development can be accommodated within the existing and planned local transport system, together with any identifiable transport interventions. The initial calculations show this proposal creates 66% less traffic trips than envisaged under the current commercial planning permission.
- Flood Risk Assessment and Drainage Strategy: The proposed development lies in an area of low flood risk. The proposed development will be drained by the existing on-site pond, which then discharges to the nearby watercourse. Other drainage features, such as swales, are also likely to be incorporated into the design to assist with drainage.
- Tree Survey: A survey of the trees on the site has been undertaken to ensure that the trees can be retained, properly protected during construction and accommodated within the development.
- Ecological Assessment: The Site comprises two grassed development platforms, which have negligible ecological value. The existing trees located on the landscaped embankments surrounding the site will be retained, apart from where a limited number of trees would be removed to make space for the viewing platforms/ seating areas and associated footpaths. The loss of these trees will be mitigated with replacement tree planting elsewhere within the site.
- Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA): An LVIA is being prepared to assess the visual impact of the new homes on views into the site. It is important to note that the height of the new homes, which will be a maximum of 3 storeys, will be less than that of the employment uses which already have permission to be built on the site.
- Employment & Land Availability Report: An Employment Report has been prepared by a development economics consultant, which explains that, despite Jaynic’s comprehensive marketing over the past 8 years, suitable and viable employment occupiers have not been identified and secured.
It is our intention to submit an outline planning application around May. If approved by West Suffolk Council, a reserved matters application will be submitted to the Council to deal with the outstanding details of the siting of the new buildings and their design, together with the proposed new landscaping. If successful, it is anticipated that the development could begin in 2020 and be developed over the following 3 – 4 years.