New homes approved for 'disused' land despite delay fears
PUBLISHED: 16:41 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:42 20 December 2019
Up to 21 new homes could be built next to a popular theme park, although councillors fear the length of time it could take for work to start.
Empty land south of Leisure Way, in Lowestoft, had previously been given planning permission in 2017 for 17 new homes to be built.
With work yet to begin on the site, a new proposal went before East Suffolk Council's planning committee on Thursday, December 19 for an additional four homes on the land, near to the entrance for Pleasurewood Hills.
Georgina Brotherton, of Lawson Planning Partnership on behalf of the applicant, said: "It is an underutilised development site, in a very sustainable location with Tesco nearby, good bus routes and a primary school.
"We seek up to four more homes to what was previously approved to offer a number of smaller homes.
"The landowner is very keen to see the site developed. His intention is to dispose of the site after it has been granted planning consent."
However, Craig Rivett, deputy leader of East Suffolk Council, highlighted the fact that proposals had been submitted for a care home in 2009 and 2011, while a proposal for 17 homes was approved in 2017.
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He said: "How keen is the applicant? Will we be here in another few years with another proposal?
"We get quite frustrated in this committee when nothing happens and it is about time something was done with the site.
"The addition of affordable homes is a welcome step, but the disposal is a concerning remark because it will have to go through those processes too."
Councillor Malcolm Pitchers added: "I am very frustrated by applications when nothing happens, and I am pessimistic that the same will happen this time."
The proposed scheme of 21 new properties consists of eight, three or four bed houses; seven, two bed houses; four, three bed houses and two, one bed apartments.
A report to councillors states: "The site is also located within an area of existing development and it is in very close proximity to the built-up area of the northern part of the town.
"The total site area comprises approximately 0.8 ha (1.97 acres) of relatively flat vacant disused land mostly enclosed by fencing."
The plans were unanimously approved by councillors on the committee.