East Suffolk towns and villages benefit from £6m in project grants

House building. Construction on a Hopkins Homes site. Picture: ANDREW HENDRY

Contributions from house builders are helping to fund infrastructure in east Suffolk to deal with problems new housing creates - Credit: Archant

School expansions, a GP surgery revamp and rubbish tip improvements are among key infrastructure upgrades to benefit from more than £6million in grants.

The money - to be spent in east Suffolk towns and villages - comes from contributions made by housing developers building new homes.

East Suffolk Council’s cabinet on Tuesday agreed seven projects totalling £6.3m would be awarded a share of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds – contributions to important services like highways, schools and health centres housing developers are required to pay.

These include £1.1m for a new purpose-built facility for Badingham Playschool to develop land opposite Dennington Village Hall and £615,000 for new classroom space at Holton St Peter Primary School to create 30 new nursery places.

Other education projects include £1.3m for Edgar Sewter Primary School in Halesworth to expand by 105 places in light of increasing numbers of homes and £624,000 for a new teaching block at Bungay High School that will allow expansion for another 150 pupils.

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Elsewhere, the upgrade of Foxhall Recycling Centre will receive £794,000, while Leiston Surgery will be revamped to provide additional clinical space thanks to a £90,000 grant.

The final approved bid is for £1.6m for a grass pitch and 3G pitch in Halesworth.

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Councillor Tony Cooper, Conservative assistant cabinet member for planning, said: “All have been identified as either critical or essential in the local plan. They are key to the council’s strategy plan objectives.”

Councillor Steve Gallant shares how East Suffolk Council is helping businesses and individuals

East Suffolk council leader Steve Gallant - Credit: East Suffolk Council

Council leader Steve Gallant said: “It’s really important to the public.

“We know that CIL comes in and what we want to see is it being spent and used on infrastructure across the district.”

The council’s report highlighted the need to develop the district’s infrastructure in line with increased housing numbers which place additional demands on services like schools and health centres.

The report said that failure to allocate the cash would “make planned development unsupported and unsustainable,” and have “other unintended impacts such as increased fly-tipping, poorly educated children, undiagnosed health conditions”.

The Bungay High School, Halesworth pitches and Holton early years provision bids are contingent on planning permission being secured.

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