December 12 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
A residents’ group is pushing to create a formal planning vision for a town as they feel “powerless” to influence proposed developments.
Eye could be set for major changes over the next few years with proposals to build a £200million power station on an airfield already earmarked to create 3,000 new jobs.
Two huge wind turbines – some of the biggest in the country – have been operational on Eye Airfield since April. There are also two further turbines, which would be 130 metres high, planned for the area.
Eye town councillors have agreed to examine the costs and effect of creating a Neighbourhood Plan, which would give people a greater say on developments.
But deputy town mayor Caroline Byles said it would be a “huge” amount of work and was not a “good idea”.
She said: “I have real reservations about Neighbourhood Plans – first of all they have to conform with the Core Strategy of Mid Suffolk District Council and I would be very interested to know what exactly people think they are going to achieve.
“If it is to block the power station then I think they will fail.”
Councillor Andrew Evitt defended the group which put forward the idea. He said: “I do not think that’s the case at all, there’s no indication they want to stop the power station. There will be a series of checks and balances that have to be put in place; the community has to vote and if they do not want it, it will not go through.”
For the Neighbourhood Plan to come into force a referendum would have to take place to get the community’s backing.
Richard Berry, one of residents interested in setting up the plan, said: “There are Neighbourhood Plans being developed in Mendlesham and we have spoken to our colleagues there where we have had productive discussions.
“This is not a short-term thing and I want to assure members that we will see it through and will not take it lightly. We want to get the backing of the town council. Hopefully this will give us the support to take it forward.”
Mid Suffolk District Council would have to approve Eye’s plan if it is to go-ahead.