East Suffolk rural homes plan refused amid 'cramped' concerns

Aerial view of land north of School Road in Ringsfield Corner

Land near School Road in Ringsfield Corner where plans for 33 homes had been lodged. The red area represents the development site planned and the blue the 0.7ha unused portion - Credit: Google Maps

Plans for 33 homes in rural East Suffolk have been refused because of fears it would be "cramped" and "out of character".

Developers Mark and Paul Timm lodged plans for 33 homes on land north of School Road in Ringsfield Corner, but East Suffolk Council's planning north committee unanimously rejected the proposal on Tuesday afternoon.

While the land has been allocated for around 30 homes in the Waveney local plan, the applicants proposed using 1.86 hectares and leaving 0.7ha undeveloped.

It is understood that was for the grazing of horses, but planning officers recommended refusal because its position was that "a reduced size of the application site relative to the site allocation (a reduction of 0.7 hectares) would represent poor design and lead to a cramped form of development which would be out of character with the surrounding character, especially noting the rural edge of the village".

Planning manager Liz Beighton told the committee that discussions with developers on utilising more of the site had been unsuccessful.

The plans had been presented to the council's committee in February and deferred so those discussions could take place.

Committee chairman Paul Ashdown said: "We went through it in very great detail last time, which is why we gave officers the option to go back to the applicants to outline our concern."

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In their application, the developers said that the illustrative layout demonstrated that "up to 33 dwellings can be achieved on the site whilst creating an appropriately rural character that is in keeping with surrounding development in Ringsfield".

It added: "The number of homes proposed meets the growth needs of the village, as described in the local plan, and makes best and most efficient use of land, whist maintaining the required density and an appropriately rural character."

Ringsfield Parish Council objected because it would "represent a 50% increase in the village housing number" and would be "a housing estate inappropriately tagged onto the edge of the village".

It is not yet clear if they plan to put forward a revised plan in future.

Under the requirements of the land allocation, 24 visitor parking spaces for the nearby school must be delivered as part of any housing, and a footpath extension must also be included.