Lady Lane Property

Hadleigh TH Pump 120916 abOn March 31st I wrote how Babergh had approved the transfer of land on Lady Lane to a Registered (Social Housing) Provider for the provision of a four bedroom house. At the time I mentioned that I did not like proposals whereby I didn’t see a price tag nor was I happy that we were approving in principle a four bedroom house when the greatest need in the housing market is for small (one and two bedroom) houses. I made the (unappreciated) point that we should put two two bedroom residences on the site and thus release two four bedroom houses from those families whose children have permanently moved away.
Orwell Housing have now submitted an application (B/13/01087/FUL) to develop the site with a three bedroom house!
I have written to the Planning Control suggesting that the application should be returned to applicant for further work.
Primarily, because there is a minimal amount of information. There is no design statement, nor is there a history of the site. In particular no reference is made to Council Paper No M148 which authorised a single four bedroom scheme on this property.
Consequently the basis on which this application has been allowed to come forward is flawed.
I wonder if this is a case of casting pearls before swine insofar as you should not put what is valuable in front of those who will reject that which has value and furthermore who will diminish or destroy your gifts.
Should it come forward to the Planning Committee for discussion, I will speak against any recommendation for approval since the application is contrary to the authorised use of the Council’s assets.

Out of the Frying Pan – April

Recently Babergh’s full  Council discussed and approved a proposal that a vacant piece of land in Lady Lane (just up from The Green) be transferred to a Registered Provider (of Social Housing) and that a four bedroom house be built possibly with a capital contribution from the Council.
At no time were we given an estimate of the land value. Nor were there figures to indicate the financial implications of the proposal.
I dislike giving approvals when I am not aware of the potential price tags. Similarly we were not told why the Council was ignoring its own policy which states that the greatest need in the housing market is for small (one and two bedroom) and medium  sized (three bedroom) houses.
If we built two two bedroom houses we could then relocate two families who no longer need their four bedroom houses – their children having flown the nests.
Joined up thinking was not in evidence that day. On the one hand we were being asked to approve a scheme for a four bedroom house. On the other long term Hadleigh residents are being encouraged to move from their “empty nests” to smaller housing elsewhere.
It is not the first time that policies have been pursued without regard to local needs.
One department is busy implementing under occupancy penalties and another does nothing constructive to reduce its incidence.
The paper presented never mentioned why the Council thought there was a need for more four bed room social housing accommodation in Hadleigh.  The Babergh Development Framework Core Strategy (2011- 2031) Submission Draft is quite clear as to perceived housing demand. What is the point of having policies and then ignoring them?
I have asked about the intended Registered Provider  and why it was so important that they are the recipient of this particular property.
National Mushroom Day is not until October, but I have the feeling that I am being kept in the dark and covered with opprobrium.

This post first appeared in the Hadleigh Community News for April 2013