‘Eyesore’ storage plans approved for rural village

St John's Hall Storage, in Ilketshall St John. PHOTO: Google

St John's Hall Storage, in Ilketshall St John. PHOTO: Google - Credit: Archant

An East Suffolk 'success story' is to expand their business, despite 'eyesore' concerns.

St John's Hall Storage, based on Halesworth Road, Ilketshall St John, have been granted planning permission to erect a new steel frame building to serve as a pallet storage unit.

Plans had been rejected in 2017, and an appeal dismissed, after concerns the visual impact of the proposal outweighed the "strong economic case" for development.

A new proposal, for a smaller and re-positioned structure, was approved by East Suffolk Council's planning committee on Thursday, December 19.

Applicant Tim Basey-Fisher said: "We think of ourselves as an integral part of local businesses and help them flourish.

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"We are the storage solution local businesses can't have.

"Many of our customers have grown but we are full to capacity and are having to turn customers away.

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"We are hampering their growth because there is nowhere else for them to go.

"I have been living in the area for 55 years and I know and speak to a lot of people and we have done our best to engage the local community and address their concerns.

"In 30 years we have only had one complaint and that was about a noise problem which we dealt with immediately.

"We are a great East Suffolk success story."

Mr Basey-Fisher said he has had to temporarily offer grain stores as storage space prior to the expansion plan.

In total, 30 local residents objected to the application amid concerns of more traffic and fears the building will be an "eyesore."

The proposals were unanimously approved by councillors.

Norman Brooks said: "I konw the area and I know people who use this.

"They provide a lot of support for local businesses and I am more than happy to approve."

A report prepared for councillors ahead of the meeting states: "The proposed building is of similar size to the recent new storage units that have been added to the site, although it will sit at a lower level compared to the adjacent grain store to the south.

"It is inevitable that a building of this size will have some degree of impact on the surrounding landscape and those who are in, and moving through, that landscape."

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