Highways warn on garages for homes proposal

Residents have launched a petition against the plans
Residents have launched a petition against the plans

A group of residents fighting plans to knock down garages for housing have received a boost after the highways authority objected to the proposals.

Housing association Flagship Housing has submitted planning applications to demolish 273 garages in Newnham, Emmanuel, Downing, Peterhouse and Pembroke Closes, in Mildenhall, to make room for 42 homes and 190 parking spaces, despite a consultation meeting attended by 600 residents who overwhelmingly opposed the scheme.

On Monday, Suffolk County Council’s highways department lodged objections to all the proposals to be considered by Forest Heath District Council and recommended permission be refused.

It said the proposal to remove parking was ‘unacceptable’ and called for Flagship to prove parking would not be made worse in the area by undertaking a ‘robust’ parking analysis survey .

Hen Abbott, development management engineer for highways, wrote: “There is no evidence there is sufficient space on-street for vehicles to safely park and any relocated garage tenants are likely to be an unacceptable distance from their properties.”

Campaigners against the proposals have formed The Mildenhall Focus Group and have arranged a meeting next Monday at 7.30pm at St John’s Community Centre. A petition to Forest Heath District Council is also available for signing at the centre and at McColl’s stores in St John’s Close and Market Place.

Among the protest organisers is Pembroke Close resident Ralph Shingfield, who said: “We will be left with considerably less than one parking space per household and we believe there will be serious issues including extra on-street parking which we know reduces accessibility for fire appliances and ambulances.”

Lee Webster, Flagship project manager, said: “We have reduced the number of homes from 60 to 42, increased the number of parking spaces for residents.”