May 18 2013 Latest news:
By Mariam Ghaemi
Monday, March 4, 2013
A NEW group which has formed to safeguard a piece of green space in Bury St Edmunds is calling on borough councillors to vote against proposals for development on the land.
The Bury Water Meadows Group, which is made up of concerned residents and organisations, believes a green space known as the Leg of Mutton “should be fully preserved for future generations as a green lung for Bury”.
The Leg of Mutton field is a 15-hectare plot of agricultural land bounded on two sides by the A14 and Rougham Road, by the River Lark on its third side, and the west boundary is the footpath and cycle-path between Moreton Hall and the centre of Bury St Edmunds.
The group says the field has been farmed over many years and is considered to be “an important green lung” for Bury, however the proposed blueprint for future growth in the town, known as Vision 2031, says this land is appropriate for expansion to contain a hotel or indoor leisure/fitness development.
Andrew Hinchley, chairman of the Bury Water Meadows Group, has written to St Edmundsbury Borough councillors urging them to vote against the proposals in the Vision 2031 document for development on the Leg of Mutton field.
He said: “A fresh look is essential as part of keeping our town’s character and heritage intact.”
Alan Jary, chairman of the Bury Society, said: “There is a recognised need when town centres expand to conserve natural open space.
“This area is only just over five minutes walk from Angel Hill.”
He added previous development plans for the site raised strong feelings in the town.
Sue Tamlyn, of the Bury branch of the Suffolk Preservation Society, said: “If this site is developed historic and ancient views of the Water Meadows will be lost forever.”
The Bury Water Meadows Group wants to preserve the Leg of Mutton as a green open space ensuring that no development is permitted.
It also plans to explore options for the improvement of the whole area - including the area of land on the other side of the River Lark known as No Man’s Meadows - as a green space the residents of Bury and visitors can visit and enjoy now and for the future.
Group members are calling for sensitive care of the area, which they describe as a key part of the character of the historic market town.
A spokeswoman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “We are currently considering all the comments submitted during the consultation on Vision 2031 last year.
“There will be a further opportunity to submit comments on the revised document when we consult again in the summer.”
Vision 2031 includes 900 homes between the Howard Estate and Fornham All Saints, 500 homes for Moreton Hall, 1,250 between Bury and Great Barton and 1,250 to the south-east of the town.