Sports Centre Planning Application

Published: 12 November 2019

Around 120 people attended a Public Meeting on 11 November 2019 to discuss the application on the Sports Centre site which proposes 11 affordable homes, a convenience store and 2 retail units.

Rendlesham Parish Council Object to the application and are disappointed that the application has been submitted without any prior contact with Rendlesham Parish Council.

The Rendlesham Neighourhood Plan (RNPP1) clearly states that:

‘Proposals for redevelopment or change of use involving residential development will only be permitted where they maintain or enhance the existing or established employment, leisure, education, retail or community uses and future needs thereof.’

Affordable Housing

Rendlesham has 2 housing site allocations in the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan, each expecting 50 homes and a minimum of 32 affordable homes. In the Housing Needs Survey undertaken in 2012 the survey identified a need for 20-30 affordable homes. There is no evidence to suggest that this number has increased. Therefore, the demand for affordable homes in Rendlesham will be met by the 2 allocated sites.

It is vitally important for Rendlesham that:

The Right Housing is built in
The Right Place with
The Right Infrastructure

93% of people responding to the Neighbourhood Plan supported the safeguarding of the District Centre (Village Centre) with the purpose of retaining and improving additional retail, leisure and community facilities.

Sustainability

The Suffolk Coastal Local Plan SCLP4.12 states that ‘District Centres provide shops and some other local services to meet the needs of residents in the local area’. This is the priority in Rendlesham.

The Suffolk Coastal Local Plan para 4.68 states that ‘A District Centre is a large group of shops anchored by a small supermarket, together with facilities, which collectively form a coherent area.’ On that basis this application is not compliant with the Rendlesham Neighbourhood Plan District Centre designation or the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan, which lists Rendlesham as a District Centre.

Rendlesham is growing. A further 100 homes plus windfall homes will be built bringing with it a substantial increase in population over the next 5-10 years. Development will not stop there, other sites will come forward beyond this time. Rendlesham only has one village centre, the need for further education, community, retail and leisure facilities is the priority. This application does not provide a sustainable solution for the village of Rendlesham.

Trees

The application proposes the removal of 12 out of the 14 established healthy trees on the site. This is contrary to the Climate Emergency Declaration made by both the Parish Council, East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council.

Education

The Suffolk Coastal Local Plan states that:

‘Rendlesham Primary School is operating close to capacity and, considering this allocation along with education forecasts, would be marginally over capacity during the first 5 years of the plan period.’ (Para12.710).

‘Farlingaye High School is currently operating over capacity with no immediate opportunities for expansion.’

The Rendlesham Neighbourhood Plan makes provision in the District Centre for additional education facilities. The Sports Centre site is directly opposite the primary school which would enable a natural expansion of the school in the future. The primary school is a social hub which, without further expansion plans will result in children in the village having to be bussed to Eyke and Melton, as has happened in the past. This disenfranchises families from the community.

Retail

Due to the lack of available retail space in the village centre, a number of retail outlets are located in Rendlesham Mews which has no footpath link from the village.

Costcutters, now under new management, has become an integral part of the community. The Post Office is sited within the shop. We believe this fulfils the definition outlined in the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan that a District Centre ‘is a large group of shops anchored by a small supermarket’. The applicant has not demonstrated that there is a demand or need for a second food retail outlet.

Summary

The proposals outlined in the application:

· Are not policy compliant

· Seek a short term win for the developer

· Uses valuable land in the village centre for housing that immediately removes the potential for any further infrastructure on the site to create a thriving village centre for generations to come

· Do not address the proven need for additional primary school facilities

· Do not provide sufficient evidence that a second food retail outlet is needed

· Have not met the outcomes for the District Centre as defined in the Rendlesham Neighbourhood Plan

· Remove a significant number of established healthy trees

· Do not provide a sustainable solution for the Rendlesham District Centre

· Makes provision for affordable homes in the District Centre when 2 allocated sites elsewhere in the village will fulfil the required provision

Residents wishing to make comments on this application should write to East Suffolk Council:

By email: Quoting the application number C19/3881/FUL
planning@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Or by post to: Jane Roden, East Suffolk Council, Riverside, 4 Canning Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0EQ