Details of a planned housing development on the former playing field of a Suffolk school have been approved despite concerns that some could become second homes or holiday lets.

The 55 homes will be built on the land of Saint Felix School on Halesworth Road, Reydon, following the final go-ahead from East Suffolk Council's planning committee.

Of the 55 houses, 19 will be affordable. The outline planning permission set an obligation for 35 per cent of the homes to be designated as affordable.

This puts the acceptable number of affordable homes at 19.25; both Reydon Parish Council and Southwold councillor David Beavan stated this should at least have been rounded up to 20.

The affordable homes will all be situated close to each other, which is not considered ideal for developments. Officers accepted this was necessary to fulfil the requirement to build the affordable homes early on.

Reydon Parish Council feared the development would add to the high proportion of houses in the area that are used as second homes or holiday lets.

The applicant’s representative said they would not consider ensuring the homes were only used as permanent homes, when asked by councillor Alison Cackett.

Plans include felling 24 trees and building a playground in an area of woodland.

The applicant promises to plant new trees to offset the loss. A management company will maintain and look after the new trees.

Natural England did not object to the development, provided conditions were added to mitigate damage to the environment and habitats. These were linked to the approval, and included the submission of a long-term plan for how the landscape and ecology will be managed and funded.

The safety of those driving on Halesworth Road was also a concern for Reydon Parish Council, which suggested a roundabout could be considered as a traffic calming measure. This is an issue for the Highways Authority, which did not object to the application.

The development will benefit students at St Felix School. An agreement attached to the initial planning application stated that capital receipts from the site’s sale will be reinvested into the school for refurbishment and modernisation.