Judicial review threat on plans

The site on station road Lakenheath where 375 homes and a new school are planned
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The site on station road Lakenheath where 375 homes and a new school are planned [Googlemaps]

Lakenheath Parish Council is set to call for a judicial review of plans approved for developments that would see the village grow by 25 per cent.

Forest Heath’s Development Control Committee last week approved applications for 523 homes on three sites the parish council has strongly objected to because of fears for their combined traffic impact and the potential impact of jet noise on some of the homes.

After the meeting, Mrs Brown warned: “We do not roll over and have our tummies tickled. There will be a judicial review – there’s too much at stake.”

The biggest plan is from the Cobbold family and Pigeon Developments for outline permission for up to 375 homes on land north of Station Road with full planning permission for the access road.

James Waters applied for outline permission for up to 81 homes at Rabbit Covert Hill and Bennett had applied for full permission for 67 homes on land off Briscoe Way.

Hermione Brown, chairwoman of Lakenheath Parish Council’s planning committee, said the traffic mitigation proposed in the plans was ‘laughable’ comprising a single right turn lane at the Sparks Farm junction in Eriswell Road.

Speaking to the development control committee, she asked: “Do you seriously think that this will solve the traffic build up?”

The parish had been in favour of Briscoe Way but it had been returned to Forest Heath’s committee because of changes to the public open space resulting in car parking being revised. Mrs Brown said the parish now felt it was ‘over development’.

As well as traffic issues with Station Road, she highlighted that the original noise impact assessments used incorrect information on noise contours of jets approaching RAF Lakenheath and of the amount of flying. That has since been corrected, in January, by a critical report from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

Mrs Brown told the development control committee: “We do not believe that noise impact can be mitigated,especially in the context of external amenity spaces/public open space.”

She also said the Rabbit Hill plan’s Noise Impact Assessment had been prepared before the DIO noise contours were published so they could not be sure the noise impact could be mitigated.