Stowmarket: Mayor Anne Whybrow backs Chilton Leys playing fields petition
08:56 06 December 2012
A MAYOR has backed a 200-strong petition against the redevelopment of playing fields as part of proposals to build 1,000 new homes.
The petition objects to the proposals for the Chilton Leys development in Stowmarket which could mean the loss of Chilton Fields.
The homes development, which is being proposed by Mid Suffolk District Council and developer Taylor Wimpey, would see 1,000 homes built over 15 years.
Town mayor Anne Whybrow said: “I just would not like to see the houses on green spaces, it’s so important. We are all becoming healthier and we need our green open spaces and it’s important that we keep them for sports and leisure, and close to our town centre.
“We do not use facilities if we have to travel too far.
“We need, most of all, to ensure that we get the infrastructure and also the facilities that a larger population will need.
“It’s just so important for the growth of the economy in the town – we cannot just build houses without having the facilities.”
She said land at Cedars Park in Stowmarket should be used for any developments.
Although the petition was only started a week ago people have flooded the website demanding the fields are protected.
Caroline Page wrote on the petition: “This is such a widely-used area, from the young and old, from keep-fit fanatics to dog walkers. At most times of the day there are all types of people from all walks of life from the local community.
“Please do not take this area away – it is used so much.”
A spokeswoman for Mid Suffolk, which owns the playing fields, said: “The Chilton Leys engagement exercise is all about talking to local people and key stakeholders, hearing their views, finding out about their needs as well as their concerns so we can address them in the future plans.
“The views expressed in any petition received will be incorporated into the exercise and taken into account so these, along with all the feedback, can help to shape this development.
“We are keen to ensure all interested parties are engaged every step of the way so would urge people to go along and see the exhibition at Stowmarket Library before December 14 or at Stowmarket Leisure from December 15 to 21, and give us their views.”
Information boards detailing the proposals for the Chilton Leys site can be seen along with an online questionnaire at www.midsuffolk.gov.uk
A public exhibition at Stowmarket Rugby Club was held on November 21.
More than 300 people attended the event to find out more about the proposed development which could also include a school.