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Opposition fails as Halstead’s 292 home plan passed

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Plans for 292 homes to be built on the outskirts of Halstead have been given the green light by district councillors despite wide spread opposition from residents and Halstead Town Council.

More than 20 residents and councillors attended Braintree District Council’s planning meeting last Tuesday to oppose the plans which would see the homes built on land south of Oak Road.

But despite their efforts members of the planning committee agreed with the officers’ recommendation that the Gladman Developments proposals for outline planning permission was passed, subject to a section 106 legal agreement.

The outline plans include 292 homes, with at least 30 per cent of these to be affordable properties.

In its planning statement, the company said it was confident that its quota of affordable homes was deliverable, and was based on a mix of affordable rental properties and homes offered at lowered rents for families on low income.

It is proposed that the development would be accessed via three points – two from Oak Road and another off Mount Hill.

As well as plans for a convenience store on the estate, the applicant has included a public open space and a children’s play area in the designs.

Councillors and residents objected to the plans, highlighting road safety issues and concerns at over-subscribed schools.

The application was criticised for its size, with many residents claiming services in the town would struggle to cope, while roads would become congested and dangerous.

Halstead Town Council asked for the application to be refused, stating it would put “additional pressure on Halstead’s infrastructure with no financial gain” for the community.

Pamela Jones, from Conway Close, was one of more than 30 residents that wrote in to object to the scheme.

She wrote: “I have lived here for 52 years. The number of houses planned is far in excess of the amount the roads around the site could cope with.”

She said doctors’ surgeries were already busy, while primary schools were full.

The NHS has stated that the Elizabeth Courtauld surgery does not have the capacity to cope with the additional growth the development would bring.

A major concern in many of the objection letters was the impact on education and a current lack of places in the town’s schools.

“I object to these plans on the basis of school infrastructure, ” said Lisa Baxted, from Three Gates Close.

“My children started school in September 2014 and did not secure a place in their catchment school - Holy Trinity Primary - on the basis of class size.

“We have been forced to enrol our children in a school in Braintree.”

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