Proposed Development for Land off Barrow Hill
Please see the attached document for a detailed analysis of the key themes from the community feedback provided to the Parish Council regarding the proposed development off Barrow Hill.
Click the above link for feedback.
The Parish Council have not made any decisions on the development and are still considering the feedback.
Following on from the exhibition on March 9th, a copy of the exhibition boards can be found by following the link below.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are questions that arose from the Exhibition in March – this is not the feedback,
- What is being proposed?
A high quality, landscape and design-led development on land near Barrow Hill that would include an extensive sports/recreation area, employment area, new homes (including affordable housing and custom-build/self-build plots), a care home/assisted living and associated infrastructure. At this time it is only an idea that the Parish Council has been exploring with the landowners, the Stanton family, who have offered to lease the land to the Parish on a long-term basis. No planning permission has been sought.
All residents of Barrow and Denham were invited to a public exhibition in the Barrow village hall on 9 March to view and understand the proposal, ask questions and offer feedback. The exhibition was attended by over 200 residents and, as you may imagine, a wide and varied range of views and opinions were offered on the day. The Parish Council will carefully consider all the feedback received, both on the day and since the exhibition, before any decision will be made on whether or not to support any future planning application associated with this site, or any other site.
- Why is the Parish Council supporting the proposal?
St Edmundsbury Council designated a number of villages surrounding Bury St Edmunds as “Key Service Centres” – Barrow is one of them. The Parish Council is aware that the new West Suffolk Authority has invited local landowners to nominate potential sites for development in and around Barrow. In addition to the idea presented by the Parish Council on 9 March, there are two other potential sites in Barrow with indicative planning proposals for approximately 120-140 houses on each site. It is a fact that these applications may be rejected but the Parish Council is mindful that in the current climate any or all of those sites could be approved. The Parish Council has therefore concluded that it would be better to work in partnership with a local resident and landowner who will be open to developing a site that includes an opportunity for new community facilities rather than just houses. Not only does such a partnership offer the village and community new and greatly improved community facilities but also provides an opportunity for the Parish Council to exercise a greater level of influence on the specification and development of all other aspects of the proposal.
- Has the Parish benefitted financially from previous developments?
It is usual practice for landowners or developers to enter into an agreement with the local planning authority, under Section 106 of the Local Government Act, to provide agreed sums of money to mitigate the effects of planning permissions. These agreements generally provide monies for education provision, community facilities and libraries etc. It is important to note that no money is paid directly to the Parish Council; it is paid to either the Borough Council or the County Council.
All three of the recent developments in Barrow were the subject of Section 106 agreements and have delivered, or will deliver, the following benefits to the village.
- WATSONS WAY
Money from this agreement was allocated to educational provision but due to a failure on the part of the Borough Council, the Parish claim for Section 106 monies was not actioned – therefore, to make amends, they made a significant contribution to the refurbishment of the Town Estate Room and the new play area behind the village hall.
- GROVE PARK
The Section 106 agreement delivered the following:
£26k for early years’ development
£170k for provision of school facilities serving the development
£3k for additional library provision
£40k for community facilities
The £40k for community facilities provided the money for the new bus shelter on the Bury Road, an additional grant in aid of the Town Estate Room refurbishment, the new heating system in the village hall, the extension of the village hall carpark and new path to the play area, as well as traffic calming measures along Bury Road.
- CURRENT DEVELOPMENT (behind doctors’ surgery)
The Section 106 agreement for the current development under construction will deliver the following:
£2,100 per dwelling ring-fenced for the Barrow primary schools
£41k for footpath improvements in the village
£16 per dwelling for additional mobile library provision
£161k for a new pavilion/village hall
- Why is it being proposed that the new facilities be built on land on the edge of the village rather than on other land in the centre of the village?
While the Parish Council are aware of two developers who are interested in building in the village, only the Stanton Family have approached the Parish Council with a proposal for a joint community project. They have made an offer of a large area of land which would be allocated for recreational purposes. This parcel of land is offered to the village on a long term lease basis (possibly 120 years) because the landowner wishes to ensure that it remains available to the community and that it cannot be used for more homes. The area of land south of the proposed recreational area would be for development of new homes.
- Who will meet the cost of building the community facilities?
The £161k owed to the Parish Council via the 106 agreement for current development, which can be used for any site in the village. The Parish Council has also made preliminary enquiries to Sport England and the FA who have indicated that our proposals meet their criteria for funding. The Parish Council will also explore other funding bodies e.g. the National Lottery.
- What are the timescales?
It is unlikely that any new homes or community facilities will be built in less than five years from now.
- What will happen to the existing playing field if the land behind Mill Lane is sold for development?
There is absolutely no question of the current playing field being sold. It currently houses tennis courts, the skate park and the new children play area, and any change of use, or sale, has been explicitly ruled out by the Parish Council.
- What will happen to the current village hall?
It will remain as it is and maintained until such time as the Parish Council has secured an alternative. At that point, the Parish Council will need to take a decision about what to do with it.
- Are there plans to expand the primary school?
The primary school has to expand because it is changing from a three-tier to two-tier system in 2020. Decisions on funding for the primary school are the absolute responsibility of the County Council. The Parish Council can and has consistently lobbied for additional funding and will continue to do so. The landowner has made a commitment that the Section 106 agreement would include ring-fenced funds specifically for the school.
- Are there plans to expand the GP surgery?
The expansion of the surgery is a matter for the NHS. However, it is worth noting that the current GP surgery exists because the Parish Council lobbied the local health trust to retain a GP surgery in the village. At one time, the village only had one GP and when he wanted to retire the health trust had planned to close the surgery. However, the Parish Council and the local MP helped to establish the link with the Guildhall Surgery in Bury St Edmunds and therefore the surgery remained open.
- Are there plans to improve the roads into the village to accommodate increased traffic?
The Parish Council recognises that this is an issue. However, the roads are the responsibility of Suffolk County Council. The Parish Council has consistently lobbied the County Council to improve roads (e.g. potholes, traffic calming). The Parish Council has also lobbied the Police regarding speeding, which remains a major problem. The Parish Council would urge all villagers (and those from other villages who drive through Barrow) to respect the speed limits in place.
- Where can I find more information?
The Parish Council website, Parish Council meetings and by contacting your local Parish Councillor.