Homes plans for Lowestoft greenfield site discussed

A planning inspector was told yesterday by concerned residents why a greenfield site in north Lowestoft should not be built on.

John Papworth heard the site off Woods Loke East was a wildlife haven and would become an eyesore if Flagship Housing was allowed to build 39 affordable homes there.

Mr Papworth was in Lowestoft's town hall for a day-long hearing over a planning appeal lodged by Flagship Housing which says the homes are much needed for the town.

Last June the housing group's planning application was thrown out by Waveney District Council on the grounds the homes would be detrimental to the look of the area, impact on wildlife and there was plenty of brownfield land elsewhere available for development.

About 25 people who live near the land proposed for development attended yesterday's hearing.

The main thrust of their objections were the loss of habitat including bramble and ponds, how the new homes would look and traffic problems.

June Bedingfield, who has lived in the area for 34 years, said the area's brambles attracted a whole army of wildlife and she had heard song thrushes, which are on the RSPB danger list, there.

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Another resident Peter Coull said: 'There is a huge amount of wildlife of this site. It [the development] has huge wildlife implications.'

Mr Papworth heard the greenfield area provided a vital corridor to other habitats in the north of Lowestoft.

He was also told that replacing greenfield land with homes would be detrimental to the area's look.

Mr Coull said: 'The development will certainly have a very much 'in-your-face' appearance from the road.'

Residents were supported in their views by the district council during the hearing, which also explored flooding, safety of parking and play areas and private amenity space concerns.

Senior planning officer Chris Green said: 'It is a beneficial green, open space.'

Chris Peacock, representing Flagship, said the affordable homes were 'much needed' for that part of Lowestoft and the council wouild struggle to fill its affordable homes five-year target.

He also said the council did not seem to have a coherent brownfield and green-space policy. The appeal result will be released later this year.

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