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Homes plan for former school site in Stowmarket approved

PUBLISHED: 05:30 19 September 2019

A computer generated image of the Walnut Tree Walk development on the site of the former Stowmarket Middle School Picture: MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL

A computer generated image of the Walnut Tree Walk development on the site of the former Stowmarket Middle School Picture: MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL

MID SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL

Planning permission to transform the former Stowmarket Middle School site into 38 much-needed affordable homes for the town has been granted.

The old Stowmarket Middle School was closed in 2015 Picture: PHIL MORLEYThe old Stowmarket Middle School was closed in 2015 Picture: PHIL MORLEY

At a meeting of Mid Suffolk's District Council (MSDC) development control committee on Wednesday September 18, councillors voted to grant permission for the redevelopment of the site in Walnut Tree Walk.

It has been redundant since the closure of the school in 2015.

The plans consist of six one-bedroom apartments, eight two-bedroom flats, 14 two-bedroom houses, eight three-bedroomed houses and two four-bedroom houses.

The properties will be a mix of affordable housing, offered either as shared ownership or as social/affordable housing where rent is calculated below the private market rate to help households on low to moderate incomes.

The development will also include sustainability features such as electric car charging points.

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The school, in Childer Road, closed after Suffolk County Council adopted a two-tier education system.

It was bought by the council in 2017 under plans to change disused sites into housing.

Suzie Morley, MSDC cabinet member for assets and investments said: "When the county moved to a two-tier education system and the school became redundant, we realised there was an opportunity to buy it as a brownfield site to help meet the town's housing need.

"I'm delighted that we're now able to breathe new life into this site."

Julie Flatman, MSDC cabinet member for communities and housing, added: "We have a pressing housing need in Mid Suffolk and we are constantly looking at the best ways to use our own resources and also team up with others to free up sites which are suitable for redevelopment.

"I'm very pleased we could take this opportunity to regenerate and redevelop the former school to develop much-needed homes for the town."

The plans were drawn up by Norwich-based Ingleton Wood. Planner Hannah Northrop said: "We look forward to supporting Mid Suffolk District Council in delivering this stunning development in the town centre to help meet rising demand for affordable homes, whilst giving a new lease of life to the former middle school site."

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