New house proposed in town’s conservation area rejected again

East Suffolk Council's public car park on Priory Lane, Bungay. PHOTO: Google Maps

East Suffolk Council's public car park on Priory Lane, Bungay. PHOTO: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

A bid to build a bungalow in a town’s conservation area has failed again after plans were rejected by councillors.

Applicants Richard Neale and Spencer Squire had proposed the single-storey development on land next to 24 St Mary’s Street, Bungay, with access through East Suffolk Council’s public car park on Priory Lane.

Several previous applications for a smaller building have been rejected over the years amid fears of the impact on the historic environment and design, with three in 2004/05, while a further application in 2018 was withdrawn due to similar concerns.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant at a meeting of East Suffolk Council’s north planning committee, held online on Tuesday, October 13, agent John Putman said: “I am very sorry and reluctant to say I am quite disappointed in the committee’s report for this application which is contradictory and illogical.

“I consulted the conservation officer who told me I was on track with the design and subject to making it smaller it would be acceptable.

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“Development on this side of St Mary’s Street has taken many forms and what is normally a traditional form of building has been well obscured by more recent developments.

“Vast and inappropriate buildings have spoilt the conservation area probably beyond repair in this locality whereas this scheme makes every effort to restore it.”

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Councillors unanimously refused the plans, with a report prepared ahead of the meeting stating: “It would provide a cramped form of development which fails to give regard to the character, form and pattern of development in the surrounding area.

“The application would have a negative impact on the setting of several listed buildings by causing harm to their significance by introducing an alien form of development within this sensitive location.”

Speaking at the meeting, committee member and councillor Andree Gee said: “It looks very large on the design and I feel it would be very incongruous in the conservation area.”

Bungay Town Council had unanimously recommended refusal of the plans when consulted earlier this year amid concerns about overdevelopment of the site, access issues and the conservation area.

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