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Planners recommend go-ahead for research park despite objections

Wednesday, 16th November 2011.

A special planning meeting is to be held in Haverhill next week to determine the four applications connected with Haverhill Research Park at Hanchet End.

There have been 16 letters of objection to the plans, by Jaynic Ltd, to reshape the site, to create a business park, to build a hotel, pub and creche, and to include up to 150 homes.

The residential element has been included on a site where there is no planning policy in place for it, because it is accepted that reshaping the site is going to be so costly that some higher value residential development is needed to make the whole scheme viable.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council planning officers are recommending approval of all four proposals, the reshaping of the site being a detailed plan, and the other three outline plans, although the residential development plan includes the scaling of up to 150 homes on the 8.25-acre south-eastern part of the site.

The park is expected eventually to provide hundreds of jobs for the town in the research and development field, linking with Cambridge's prominence as a science park centre.

But the developers will not only face the 4million cost of reshaping the site and bringing in services, they willalso have to fork out over 500,000 in 'contributions' to various areas of the community.

These include 320,000 for education, 65,000 for early years and childcare provision, 52,000 to Suffolk Primary Care Trust, 50,000 for a new footpath along the A1307 from the site to Sainsbury's roundabout, and 20,000 towards a Travel Plan.

This aims to 'encourage' people into non-car use, both the residents of the new homes and the employees of the research park.

Because of this it is calculated the development will not significantly affect traffic levels on the A1307 between Haverhill and Cambridge.

This is partly because it is envisaged the extra traffic will be going against the current flows, in that in the mornings, when the current split is 78 per cent towards Cambridge and 28 per cent towards Haverhill, the extra will be from employees travelling into Haverhill, and vice versa in the evenings.

Suffolk County Council highways department also want the developers to shell out 75,000 to upgrade the path from Park Road to School Lane, but the planners say this is too much.

It is a mile from the site and it would make the scheme unviable so that the balance of new housing would have to be greater, which is not considered desirable.

On Thursday morning next week, councillors will inspect the site and then gather at the New Croft football facility to make a decision.

Haverhill Online News

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