April 19 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 6, 2013
Residents of an east Suffolk town earmarked for hundreds of new homes have expressed grave concerns about the likely impact on already-stretched infrastructure.
Many of those attending Taylor Wimpey’s recent exhibition in Framlingham acknowledged the need for extra accommodation.
However few felt the region’s roads, schools or services could cope with the 200 properties proposed for Fairfield Road – particularly when considered with applications for hundreds more already in the pipeline.
Fore Street resident Richard Kelsall, 73, fears the development, if approved, would only exacerbate the town’s existing “parking nightmare”.
“The proposed site on Fairfield Road, which is a ‘rat run’ and far too narrow for anymore vehicles, is also plagued by a bad junction to Fore Street,” he said.
Although Taylor Wimpey claims the development will provide jobs and help businesses, Jenny Stockman, Framlingham Business Association chairman, fears those opportunities are unlikely to materialise by simply building new homes.
“We’ve got to be able to put the picture across that Framlingham is a good place for business with employment opportunities to attract the right people,” she said.
David Greenacre, chairman of Greener Fram, a group campaigning for sustainable living, said the current housing proposals, when considered alongside others, would see the town increased by around a third of its current size and called for caution. Framlingham is a wonderful place to live and we want to keep it that way,” he said. “We don’t mind sharing it but the housing needs to be thought through.”
Mr Greenacre felt that the Neighbourhood Plan that is being developed would be crucial in guiding a sustainable housing model – a view shared by the town clerk Eileen Coe.
“There are lots of concerns, obviously, but we know that we’ve got to have development, which is why we are trying to get the Neighbourhood Plan in place so we can get the right development in the right place at the right time,” she said.
Supportive comments came from Framlingham College representative Andrew Payn who felt new housing was necessary. “Framlingham doesn’t have great links with its nearby towns so I think new housing is very important if it is to continue thriving as an entity in its own right as a market town and commercial centre,” he said.
A Taylor Wimpey spokesman felt many of the infrastructure concerns could be allayed. “Our proposed development will not only fulfil a need for more high-quality family homes and affordable housing in the local area, but also deliver a range of community benefits and financial contributions through a Section 106 agreement,” he said.