Halesworth dubbed as housing development ‘dumping ground’ as hundreds of new homes are planned
- Credit: Archant
Halesworth has been branded a 'dumping ground' for housing with concern that around 600 new homes could be built.
Concerns over housing in Halesworth were discussed during a town council meeting on Monday.
Councillor David Thomas felt Halesworth was being used as a 'dumping ground for housing' after Waveney District Council (WDC) had failed to fulfil housing aspirations from previous years.
Back in April this year, 160 new homes on the edge of Halesworth were given the go-ahead, despite objections from people living nearby and community leaders.
The Hopkins Homes project will include 56 homes as social rented housing, on a 40-acre site with access off Hill Farm Road.
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In February, Christchurch Land and Estates (Halesworth) Limited held a public exhibition for residents to give feedback on a project for 200 homes on land south and west of Chediston Street.
Halesworth town clerk Nick Rees said: 'As Waveney District Council didn't meet housing targets, many feel like they are targeting Halesworth. There are around 600 homes planned across three to four developments.'
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However, WDC denied Halesworth was being singled out to receive extra housing.
A spokesman said: 'It is absolutely not the case that Halesworth is being identified as an area for housing beyond the usual guidelines which are in place across the district.
'There is a clear national requirement for new housing to meet demand and Waveney is no different. Economic growth is a key part of our ambitions for the district as part of our joint Business Plan and housing plays an integral role in that ambition.'
The Local Plan is being reviewed and options for Halesworth envisage the town hosting no more than 5pc to 8pc of the district's growth – potential for between 385 to 762 homes by 2036.
The spokesman added: 'Halesworth is a fantastic market town and any development there would reflect local need and be entirely proportionate to the rest of the district, while also recognising the great potential that the town has to deliver jobs and prosperity for its communities.'
The recently approved Hill Farm Road development met all the criteria for the area.