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Controversial flats approved by council

PUBLISHED: 17:51 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 07:25 01 August 2010

PLANS to demolish a Beccles supermarket to make way for flats and small shops have been backed by councillors despite opposition from townspeople.

Now Waveney District Council is set to make the final decision on the proposals in June, when they will also consider another flats plan for a site at Noel's Walk, where Suffolk Heritage Housing Association wants to build eight flats for people suffering with mental health problems

Designs for the Rainbow supermarket site on Blyburgate in Beccles were first submitted more than three years ago and now new outline plans for 14 flats and seven retail units have been backed by Beccles Town Council.

PLANS to demolish a Beccles supermarket to make way for flats and small shops have been backed by councillors despite opposition from townspeople.

Now Waveney District Council is set to make the final decision on the proposals in June, when they will also consider another flats plan for a site at Noel's Walk, where Suffolk Heritage Housing Association wants to build eight flats for people suffering with mental health problems

Designs for the Rainbow supermarket site on Blyburgate in Beccles were first submitted more than three years ago and now new outline plans for 14 flats and seven retail units have been backed by Beccles Town Council.

Plans for 25 two-storey flats were turned down in 2006 after neighbours complained that their homes would be overlooked and that the retail units would create extra traffic to the site, which is owned by Anglia Regional Co-operative Society.

Dozens of local people attended a public meeting last Thursday night to hear a presentation by John Hargreaves from developer Woods Hardwick.

An informal vote at the end of the public session showed that the majority of people who attended thought the plans should be refused but town councillors backed the scheme.

The town council indicated at the meeting that it would approve the plans as long as Suffolk County Council carries out a traffic survey to assess the problems with congestion around the site.

The latest sheltered flats proposal, to support people suffering from mental health problems comes more than a year after an original proposal were shelved.

The complex of eight flats, with a manager's office and communal living space, could be built on land behind Noel's Walk if new plans from Suffolk Heritage Housing Association are given the go-ahead. The first set of plans for the development was withdrawn in April last year after they were turned down by Beccles Town Council and a second proposal was refused planning permission in January 2008 after a petition with more than 200 signatures was submitted by people living nearby.

Now the developers have decided that as well as building the flats on the site of the unused garages on Noel's Walk, they will redevelop the rest of the neglected site into a public open space to improve the whole area.

The new drawings include eight flats in a two-storey building which will be used by people recovering from mental health problems. The remaining space next to Pig Lane will be redeveloped into a public green space and two three-space parking bays will also be provided so that the parking problems along Denmark Road and Caxton Road are not made worse by the development.

A decision on the new plans will be made by Waveney District Council's planning committee in June.

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