Planning permission has been granted to transform the former Stowmarket Middle School site into 38 much-needed affordable homes for the town.
At a meeting of Mid Suffolk’s Development Control Committee today (Wednesday), councillors voted to grant permission for the redevelopment of the site in Walnut Tree Walk, which has been redundant since the closure of the school in summer 2015.
The plans include:
The properties offer a mix of affordable housing – to be offered either as shared ownership, or as social or affordable housing, where rent is calculated below the private market rate, in order to help households on low to moderate incomes. The development will also include a scheme of sustainability measures such as electric car charging points across the site.
Cllr Suzie Morley, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for Assets and Investments said: “When the county moved to a two-tier education system and the school site became redundant, we realised there was an opportunity to buy it as a brownfield site in order to help meet the town’s housing need. I’m delighted that we’re now able to breathe new life into this town centre site.”
Cllr Julie Flatman, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We have a pressing housing need in Mid Suffolk, particularly for affordable housing, 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 that we could take this opportunity to regenerate and redevelop the former school in order to develop much-needed homes for the town.”
The plans were drawn up by Norwich-based Ingleton Wood. 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.”