Easton Primary School welcomes housing decision which left villagers disappointed
PUBLISHED: 11:05 06 July 2016
Work on 14 new homes next to a Suffolk village primary school is set to begin next summer after developers won an appeal against planners.
Hopkins and Moore said it was pleased the planning inspector decided last week to allow 14 new homes at Easton Primary School.
Suffolk Coastal District Council had refused the scheme in January 2015, saying it would cause “substantial harm” to the village’s conservations areas and would impact on nearby listed buildings.
However the inspector threw out the decision, highlighting the council’s lack of a five-year land supply – a key housing target, which has been used against Suffolk Coastal during several high profile appeals including the recent approval of 163 homes in Fairfield Road, Framlingham.
The decision has met with mixed views in the village. Easton Parish Council, which recommended the application’s refusal, said most people were opposed to the homes.
Parish chairman Sue Piggot said “the whole community came together in strength, opinion and voice of opposition” and expressed her disappointment with the decision, which she said contravened “multiple policies”.
“This clearly illustrates and puts into question the purpose of Government policies, which we are led to believe underpins the decision making and clarity of reason; yet again this is revealed as something as a misnomer,” she added.
However the school, which is set to benefit from added parking through the development, said it welcomed the news.
Headteacher Cheryl Singleton said: “I’m delighted, it’s great news for the safety of our pupils. And hopefully, as we are a small rural school, the extra houses will add to the sustainability of our school.”
Hopkins and Moore said the development would include four affordable homes, and space for up to 35 cars and two buses at the school, and had already been scaled down from previous applications after working closely with Suffolk Coastal’s planning officers.
Development director Simon Bryan said he was pleased with the decision and work was expected to begin in summer 2017.
Hopkins and Moore has also applied for costs against the council, which will be decided separately.