Elmswell Homes Pave Way For Community Benefits

Mid Suffolk District Council has approved detailed plans for 106 new homes, including 37 affordable properties, funding for sustainable transport improvements and community initiatives inspired by Sid the Elmswell snake!

Applicant Matthew Homes sought outline planning permission for the development of land to the east of Ashfield Road, which was granted by Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning committee in July 2018.

The development offers public open space, improvements to Public Rights of Way and the provision of 37 affordable homes – ranging in size from one-bedroom flats to three-bedroom houses, accommodating a range of needs – with the inclusion of two affordable bungalows to cater for increasing demand from the district’s ageing population.

Proposals also include a commitment to finance local sustainable transport, with the allocation of £6,000 for a new bus shelter and funding totalling £5,000 to be used for raised bus stop kerbs. This is in addition to the developer working with Suffolk County Council on a long-term travel plan to encourage safe, healthy and sustainable travel options for the local community.

The council has recognised that families in the village kept active during lockdown, with Elmswell Volunteers leading a project for local children to paint rocks that could be hidden around the community. This recently led to some work being done at the Blackbourne Centre to give Sid the Elmswell Snake a home, with practical help from Taylor Wimpey who are building homes nearby. Council officers are working with Matthew Homes to explore whether the current scheme could also provide an opportunity for further collaboration with the community, to provide another venue where local children’s artwork can be celebrated.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s chief planning officer used emergency delegated powers to sign off the details of this project in the absence of regular face-to-face committee meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic. Work is expected to start on site later this year.

Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “I welcome the decision reached by the chief planning officer to finalise the views held by Mid Suffolk District Council’s Development Control Committee that these are the right type of homes in the right place. This development will provide a substantial amount of much needed affordable housing, meeting our ambition for Mid Suffolk residents to have the option to remain local.

“I also applaud the developer’s commitment to work with partners, supporting future local community projects and liaising with Suffolk County Council on travel plans at a time when greener, more sustainable transport options are a priority for us all.”

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