Oulton development of 30 homes given go ahead by councillors
PUBLISHED: 15:57 17 October 2018
Plans for 30 homes to be built on a site previously earmarked for a primary school have been given the go ahead despite potential impact on rare orchids and butterflies.
The site, at Fallowfields, Oulton, near Lowestoft, is no longer needed for schooling after the opening of The Limes Primary Academy in Woods Meadow, and has been sold by Suffolk County Council for housing.
The application had also been deferred from the last meeting of Waveney District Council’s planning meeting due to concerns over the management of the development’s open space.
However, the small open space will be maintained by a management company due to councils refusing to take on the maintenance of open land.
Concerns about the clearance of the land, which was considered open space by residents - but not by the planning authority - were also deemed to not be important and within the law.
Despite claims of rare orchids living on the site prior to the clearance by the owner, W M Tubby, the report states none were found during the ecological survey, but flora which supported rare butterflies had been found.
Chris Green, area planning officer, said: “Members of the public were very upset. But that didn’t require a planning application. We can only assume that there was nothing there.”
Asked about the clearance, a spokesman for the applicant said: “Before the site was cleared to allow core samples to be taken, my understanding was that the county council as owners and vendors were happy for the site to be cleared and for a level survey to be conducted.
In conditions accepted by the committee, an ecological assessment now must be carried out to define the flora on site.
Officers state: “The report shall be submitted in writing to the local planning authority and written consent given, before further works proceed, and work shall then proceed in accordance with the report.”
Michael Ladd, Conservative councillor for Southwold and Reydon, said: “This bit of open space that worries me. It depends what it is going to be.
“Is it going to be a piece of grass with access to the general public or will it be a wildlife space. I would prefer it to be a more natural space.”
The application was approved by councillors with only vote against the plans.