Suffolk village will double in size as bid for almost 1,000 new homes is unveiled

The proposed site for 975 homes in Worlingham.

The proposed site for 975 homes in Worlingham. - Credit: Archant

Plans to build 975 homes in Worlingham have been revealed in a project which could nearly double the size of the village.

The proposed site for 975 homes in Worlingham.

The proposed site for 975 homes in Worlingham. - Credit: Archant

The proposal includes plans for a supermarket, neighbourhood centre, primary school and sports facilities, earmarked for land off Ellough Road, near Beccles, and has been put forward by Larkfleet Homes.

Information about the development has been sent to homes in the area, and residents are invited to attend two public exhibitions next month.

The plans have already caused concern for some local homeowners who fear it is too big of a development for Worlingham and Beccles to cope with.

Jill Sharp, whose home in Bluebell Way, Worlingham, backs on to the proposed development site, said: 'We were devastated when we heard and really shocked at the size of the development. It is going to spoil the habitat the wildlife has got over there - we quite often seen hares and a variety of birds.

The site off Ellough Road in Worlingham near Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher

Up to 950 homes have been proposed to be built off Ellough road, Beccles. - Credit: Nick Butcher


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'I do accept that progression in housing is needed, but my main concern is the effect it will have on the medical centre in Beccles. I don't know how it will cope with that many extra people.

'We feel like we are in limbo until they hold the open days and we are trying to make as many people aware as possible.'

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A proportion of the homes will be affordable and the bid also includes space for allotments, a children's play area, green open space, cycle and pedestrian links and an access road.

The planned new Beccles Southern Relief Road will border the site, and Larkfleet said it will minimise the impact of traffic from the development on existing road networks.

Wendy Summerfield, chairman of Worlingham Parish Council, said: 'My personal opinion is that the infrastructure of Beccles can't cope with that influx of housing.

'It is almost 1,000 houses which would nearly double the population of Worlingham.

'They said there will be two exits on to Ellough Road which is a concern. Most houses have an average of two cars so we are talking about nearly 2,000 extra cars going out on to Ellough Road which is narrow anyway and quite dangerous.

'And if we are going to increase the size of the Beccles area by that amount we have got to give them things to do like gym facilities or a swimming pool, we need to provide them with jobs and health facilities and I don't think our mediaeval town can support that.'

The information provided by Larkfleet Homes said the proposed neighbourhood will meet Waveney's housing needs, boost economic growth and provide new facilities and investment for its residents and the wider local community.

In the letter, planning director Mark Mann said: 'We understand that many facilities in Beccles are in the north of the town and we will investigate the provision of a supermarket and ancillary retail to support both the development and nearby neighbourhoods. We also understand that Beccles and Worlingham suffer from a lack of community and sports facilities and we would welcome feedback on how we can address this.'

The public exhibitions are being held on Wednesday, March 16 from 4pm to 7pm at Beccles Public Hall and Thursday, March 17 from 4pm to 7pm at Worlingham Primary School.

Details about Larkfleet Group's Community Fund will also be available, which supports community benefit projects decided by local people. For each open market house sold Larkfleet will donate up to £500, up to a maximum of £75,000.

Worlingham Parish Council will also be discussing the proposal at its next meeting on March 8, held at Worlingham Primary School at 7pm.

For more information visit www.larkfleetplanning.co.uk or call 0800 9757852.

•What do you think? Write to us, giving your full name and address, using the contact details on page 2 or email bbj.letters@archant.co.ik

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