Sad news but Babergh’s District Council’s Planning Committee on 25th November decided to approve the submitted planning applications to build on part of Belstead Meadows (B/14/01377) and convert Belstead House (B/14/01375 and B/14/01376). David Busby explains how the meeting came to its decision:
This was the first of two difficult applications affecting South West Ipswich, Wolsey Grange being the other. The case for development was well presented but there were a number of issues that concerned the committee, the additional traffic; the loss of the meadows and the effect on an over stretched doctors’ surgery being the main ones. After much discussion the committee voted 8 – 6 to refuse the application but were unable to convince the officers that, given experts’ comments, the reasons for refusal would not stand up to an appeal.
From this point the process became bizarre. The officers adjourned to have a meeting with the developer. After which an improved offer was made by the applicant and £50,000 was promised to provide road signage. The chair allowed the applicants and opponents more time to speak and then took another vote. This time the score was 6 -8 in favour of approval.
The original application did include a promise of funds to improve the remaining areas of the park and we made a request for the remainder of the park to be protected from the possibility of anymore planning incursion. There are still i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed including a detailed plan on how Sprites Lane is going to cope with the extra traffic, so nothing is certain.