Approval granted for 69 new homes in Suffolk village

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

Talks between developers and parish councillors helped overcome concerns about the project - Credit: Archant

Final approval has been given for 69 homes in a Mid Suffolk village after concerns over the design of the properties being "bland and lacking in local distinctiveness”.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control B committee voted unanimously on Wednesday  to approve the final matters around scale, layout, appearance and landscaping for Bennett Homes’ proposals for the site in Botesdale.

Outline approval for the estate - to be known as Skylarks - was granted in July 2018, with approval on the final matters deferred this summer because of fears raised that it had not considered the village’s neighbourhood plan design checklist enough.

Since then, the developers of the land off Diss Road have met with the parish council to make a number of changes.

Among those have been reconfigured parking arrangements, an improved pedestrian footpath through the site, instances of overlooking on bungalows removed and a mixed-species buffer hedge being included.

Bennett Homes has also confirmed the properties will feature electric vehicle charging points and air source heat pumps, with some also to feature solar panels.

Edward Parker, managing director of Bennett Homes, said: “We are delighted to finally have full reserved matters approval to build 69 new homes at our new development called Skylarks in Botesdale, and are looking forward to providing much-needed housing in the area, including 24 affordable homes.”

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Planning officer Mahsa Kavyani said developers had made a “great effort” to engage with the parish council since the last committee.

Councillor James Caston added: “I think this design is a good one. I am pleased to hear the consultation has gone on with the parish council and that has improved the scheme – that is exactly how things should work.”

The proposals will feature 45 two-storey market houses and 24 affordable homes – 16 designated as affordable rent.

The land is allocated for development in the parish’s neighbourhood plan.

It is not yet clear when work on site will begin.