At the parish council meeting held on 12 January 2015 the parish council invited along Mr Andy Harding from Rural Community Housing Ltd whose company has submitted various planning applications for the conversion of Belstead House into four apartments, 13 new dwellings to be built in the grounds and 155 assisted living houses and a 65 bed care home on land on the edge of Belstead Meadows. 127 residents also attended to hear Mr Harding's presentation following which he agreed to a question and answer session with residents.
The parish council are concerned with the potential impact onto the area this development may have with regards to additional traffic that may be generated on roads that are already struggling to cope at busy times and therefore a holding reply was sent to the District Council and an extension of time was granted for the council to obtain further information before making its final comments to the application.
The parish council's holding comments were as follows:-
Belstead House and Associated Applications
"With regards to the above planning applications, 127 residents attended our recent parish council meeting to raise a variety of issues and highlight their concerns, one concern in particular being the additional traffic that the developments would create.
As a parish council we too share these concerns and must therefore consider this development in conjunction with other proposed developments soon to be submitted both in and adjacent to our parish. The proposed siting of an Aldi store in Scrivener Drive and possibly two large housing developments under discussion for Chantry Vale would all create further traffic congestion in Pinewood and the surrounding area, an area already suffering gridlock on its local estate roads and nearby A1214. With further traffic to be generated from the Vet’s Surgery (including retail outlet) currently being built on Scrivener Drive and any future development on the land given permission for office development to Fred Olsen these all stand to add still further to a road network currently already unable to cope at peak times.
Traffic congestion is a major factor to be considered with all of these proposals so we feel these must all be taken into consideration at the same time. The core strategy states the A12 and A14 are important communication routes essential to the local economy and congestion at the Copdock Junction should not be exacerbated by any development in this area. Attention is drawn to the need for early consultation with the Highways Agency and warns against a piecemeal approach that would be damaging to a comprehensive plan for the areas future. Whilst this proposed development is not on land included in the Core Strategy it will impact onto the area that it covers.
The traffic survey provided by Mr Harding was heavily criticised by our residents and the response from Suffolk County Council Environment and Transport raises still further concerns and issues.
We would therefore request the following:-
i) More time to consider the traffic survey for ourselves together with the issues raised by Suffolk County Council Environment and Transport.
ii) That the District Council does not make any decision to this application on its own but only in conjunction with the other applications soon to be submitted as mentioned above.
iii) That the parish council is given a further extension of time in order to carry out its own investigations and to submit a fully informed response. Please note our next planned parish council meeting is not until either 9 or 16 February!
We note your comments below with regards to the public responses being taken into consideration up till the application going to committee, which is welcomed."
Details of the applications can be found on-line on the Babergh District Council web-site by clicking onto the planning application database on the planning pages. Enter Pinewood in search tab and look for the following applications:-
B/14/1375: B/14/1376: B/14/1377 - Belstead House and Associated Applications
You can make comments to these applications if you wish on-line, alternatively you may write to Babergh District Council at:
Babergh District Council
Ipswich IP7 6SJ