September 17 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
A public meeting has been called to discuss proposals for more homes in a village which has seen its population double in recent years.
Residents in Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, will have a chance to have their say on the plans for land between Chequers Rise and Chalk Hill Lane.
Parish chairman, Shirley Fairburn, claimed Mid Suffolk District Council had previously failed to include the village in talks over developments.
The new development, on land owned by the district council, would only be for around 20 homes according to Mrs Fairburn. But she said the village’s population had seen a sharp increase due to the ongoing Blakenham Fields major homes development.
“The meeting is being held mainly because the land has been used as a footpath and rather than put in a planning application they’ve decided they will explain to the residents what they want to do which is advantageous rather than just a planning application going in,” she said.
“I think it’s marvellous way forward and I think Mid Suffolk are likely to realise it’s the way forward, they were not doing it before.
“In the past planning applications have come up and yes the parish council has always had the opportunity to air their views but we have never been included in the talks.”
The meeting will take place tonight at 7.30pm in the Parish Room in the village.
John Whitehead, Mid Suffolk’s planning portfolio holder, said he was not aware of any problems before he took on the role last year.
“The parish councils are included when a notice of a development goes out and they have three weeks to respond.
“But some parishes meet on alternate months and it does cause them problems or has in the past to get together a get a proper response in.”
He said meetings with communities were happening when significant developments were proposed.
John Field, district councillor for the village, agreed with Mrs Fairburn’s view. He said: “In the past yes, but this time we are making a major effort to make sure the district council does involve the parish with preliminary discussions about what might or might not be acceptable.”