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Contamination issues halt housing plans at former brickworks

PUBLISHED: 11:30 27 March 2020

The land of a former brickworks site on Ballingdon Grove. Picture: BABERGH AND MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL/PELHAM CONSTRUCTION LTD

The land of a former brickworks site on Ballingdon Grove. Picture: BABERGH AND MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL/PELHAM CONSTRUCTION LTD

Archant

Five new ecofriendly and portable houses are planned for a former brickworks and gravel pit site in Suffolk.

Plans submitted show the design and layout of the proposed dwellings on land of a former brickworks site on Ballingdon Grove. Picture: BABERGH AND MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL/PELHAM CONSTRUCTION LTDPlans submitted show the design and layout of the proposed dwellings on land of a former brickworks site on Ballingdon Grove. Picture: BABERGH AND MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL/PELHAM CONSTRUCTION LTD

An application has been submitted to turn the land situated at Ballingdon Grove, near Sudbury into a sanctuary with energy efficient residential dwellings including cartlodges and parking spaces.

The homes would be self-built and of a wooden lodge style design with the added benefit of being transportable.

The area was used as part of Ballingdon Grove Brickworks, owned by Robert Allen and his family, which operated between 1812 and 1939 and produced bricks for the Royal Albert Hall and South Kensington museums.

Since the brickworks ceased, the land has sat dormant with Ballingdon Grove, a Grade 2 listed building, being converted into 11 flats.

The new proposal is promising a good-sized garden for each dwelling and all aspects of construction would be based on minimising the environmental impact and allowing for the long-term recycling of the buildings once they have reached the end of their life spans.

The hope is for the lodges to blend into the landscape of the area, which is surrounded by trees and become a nature haven for tenants.

The access road within the new site has been designed by the developers, Pelham Construction Ltd, to ensure that specimen trees are retained without disruption.

Plans submitted show the design and layout of the proposed dwellings on land of a former brickworks site on Ballingdon Grove. Picture: BABERGH AND MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL/PELHAM CONSTRUCTION LTDPlans submitted show the design and layout of the proposed dwellings on land of a former brickworks site on Ballingdon Grove. Picture: BABERGH AND MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL/PELHAM CONSTRUCTION LTD

However, Nathan Pittam, a senior environmental management officer with Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council has instilled a condition on the grounds of contamination issues and said in his report: “There is a suspicion that the site may be contaminated or affected by ground gases. The responsibility for the safe development and secure occupancy of the site rests with the developer. Unless agreed with the local planning authority, you must not carry out any development work (including demolition or site preparation) until the requirements of the condition have been met, or without the prior approval of the local planning authority.”

Natural England, the government’s adviser for the natural environment helping to protect nature and landscapes, have confirmed they have no objections to the development and concluded: “Based on the plans submitted, Natural England considers that the proposed development will not have significant adverse impacts on statutorily protected nature conservation sites.”

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