Farm development looks set to go ahead
PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 June 2020
Plans to demolish a barn at a Suffolk farm look set to go ahead despite initial concerns from environmental authorities about a “significant effect” on the surrounding natural habitat.
Under the plans, two small barns at Red House Farm in Hintlesham would be converted to create four small homes, one larger house and parking for two cars per dwelling.
A third barn would be completely demolished as part of the development, which falls within the 13km ‘zone of influence’ for the Stour and Orwell Estuaries Special Protection Area. The zone is outlined in the emerging Suffolk Recreational Disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) - a collaborative project to help protect designated sites known for their habitat and species value.
However, in April, Babergh District Council (BDC) ruled that “with mitigation the project will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of the habitats sites included within the Suffolk Coast RAMS”.
Ecological consultant Hamish Jackson, of Place Services, providing ecological advice on behalf of BDC, said: “It is advised that a financial contribution should be sought for Suffolk Coast RAMS requirements - the proposal is acceptable subject to conditions being met which may include the appointment of an ecological clerk of works to provide on-site ecological expertise during construction to conserve protected and priority species.”
Natural England had concerned but their latest statement says: “It is anticipated that a new housing development in this area is likely to have a significant effect due to the risk of increased recreational pressure. We therefore advise that you should not grant permission until such time as the implementation of this measure has been secured.”
Other requirements that must be met include a lighting design scheme to ensure that “areas to be lit will not disturb or prevent bats using their territory”.
Philip Brant, director of Wincer Kievenaar Architects Ltd, said: “Many of these buildings are no longer suitable for modern farming methods, and the change of use to residential improves the country’s housing stock. I am sure that the site in Hintlesham will be a popular choice, as Hintlesham village is an attractive location for people to live, with good connections to Hadleigh, Sudbury and Ipswich.”
The application is now set to go before BDC’s plannign committee for final approval.