‘Inappropriate’ homes development on flood-risk site dismissed by planning inspectorate

A bid to build 40 new homes on land off Pilgrims Way, Bungay, has met opposition again.

A bid to build 40 new homes on land off Pilgrims Way, Bungay, has met opposition again. - Credit: Google Maps

A developer’s bid to build 40 new homes in a “flood-risk area” has been rejected by the government’s planning inspectorate.

Disused and overgrown land off Pilgrims Way in Bungay had been eyed as a possible site for an application by Halsbury Homes Limited which was submitted to East Suffolk Council in September 2018.

But it was unanimously rejected by East Suffolk councillors at a meeting in February this year over flooding concerns - and that the site had not been allocated for development in the council’s local plan for Waveney precisely for this reason.At the time, ward councillor Judy Cloke said: “I am appalled this site is even being considered for housing. It has been derelict and overgrown for many years and is full of wildlife.“There will be about 160 vehicle movements daily going to and from those houses along two narrow roads which already can sometimes be almost impossible to drive along with cars parked along it, especially around the start and end of the school day.“While I welcome new homes in Bungay, this is a gross overdevelopment in an inappropriate site and I have very serious concerns.”Halsbury Homes Limited, however, appealed the decision at the top-level of government, with a site visit being carried out by state planning inspectors on August 20 this year.Outlining the decision to dismiss the appeal, the inspector said that despite every other benefit the housing development might provide, this did not outweigh the harm carried by the flood risk.A statement published online said: “I note the contribution that would be made to the supply of housing by this site. The delivery of up to 40 homes, with a mix of affordable housing, would make a meaningful contribution to the overall supply and mix of housing in this area.

“I also note the site would provide good access to services and facilities.

“There would be economic investment and benefits resulting from both the construction and occupation of the proposed development.”

But it added that the proposed development would “conflict with Local Planing policy in relation to flood risk.”

The statement concluded: “The benefits of this proposal are not sufficient to outweigh the harm.”

A proposal for 30 homes on the same patch of land had also been rejected in 1992.