A housing developer has again been rebuffed in its attempts to deliver affordable housing in Haverhill after its plans for eight flats were rejected.
Havebury Housing Partnership hoped to build four one-bedroom and four two-bed flats in Lower Downs Slade with four garages underneath, but St Edmundsbury Councillors rejected the plans following a site visit.
Havebury, which recently failed in its attempts to destory two historic High Street cottages and build new ones, had already reduced the number of proposed garages down from the original six due to councillors’ fears about cars reversing over the pavement into a turn in the road.
The revised plans had been presented to the council’s development control committee on February 13, but as concerns persisted a site visit was held on February 27.
St Edmundsbury Council planning officer Dave Beighton said that although the highways plans were not ‘to the highest standards’, the plans are ‘acceptable in that it does not constitute an unacceptable potential for accidents’.
He said the raised zebra crossing, road hump and zig zag lines meant that during peak times traffic was driving ‘considerably less than 30 miles per hour’, but also observed that without the garages the development could include an extra two flats.
“I do not consider that the proposal in its current form can justify a refusal on highways grounds,” said his report.
All of the flats would have been affordable housing and would have been completed by 2015.
At the development control committee on February 6 Haverhill’s deputy mayor and borough Cllr Maureen Byrne said the access was ‘dangerous’ and presented a ‘genuine safety concern’, while Cllr Alaric Pugh said it ‘beggars belief’ that there would be a development with garages opposite a large car park.
Cllr Robert Everitt said: “I find it odd that people imagine pedestrians and car drivers are incapable of missing each other in close proximity.”
Scott Bailey, head of development at Havebury, said: “We are disappointed with the outcome from the development control committee having worked closely with the planning officers for a number of months.
“There is a high demand for affordable housing in the area with over 1,500 households on the St Edmundsbury waiting list and over half of those are seeking one bedroom homes.
“This small development would have provided an opportunity for local people to move into modern homes near the town centre of Haverhill.
“We will be looking at all of our options before making a decision about our next steps.”
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (April 17) Echo.