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West Suffolk: Two groups take issue with transport planning

09:02 16 May 2014

The Moreton Hall Estate

The Moreton Hall Estate

Two communities have raised fears that a new development masterplan does not do enough to address their concerns over transport.

Residents in Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds, and Clare have spoken out about St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Vision 2031 document, and the lack of measures to mitigate the new housing on the area’s roads.

A spokeswoman for St Edmundsbury said that detailed traffic management plans would have to be submitted along with planning applications from developers, and that the county council’s highways authority had been consulted at “every stage of the preparation” of the document.

More than 100 residents at this week’s annual meeting of the Moreton Hall Residents’ Association backed a letter to council leader John Griffiths calling for more planning over infrastructure.

It says: “We are concerned that the inspector seems to have made little comment on the serious infrastructure problems, mainly, but not exclusively, the road system which exists within the borough at present, and which will be exacerbated by the Vision 2031 proposals. We believe that the impact of building 2,500 new houses immediately north and south of Moreton Hall, plus the new 500 on Moreton Hall itself, has not been fully studied.

“We do, however, welcome the council’s commitment that additional housing should not be provided (in Moreton Hall) until completion of the eastern relief road, and again seek your assurance that this will be honoured.”

Association chairman Tony Peck reiterated calls for the new 1,250-home south-east development to be connected directly to junction 45 of the A14, to relieve pressure at the Sainsbury’s roundabout.

A spokeswoman from St Edmundsbury said: “The county council, as the highway authority, has undertaken a number of assessments and, as developments come forward, the developers will have to undertake more detailed traffic impact assessments that will need to identify what needs to be done to rectify adverse traffic impact.

“This has occurred with the development at north-west Bury St Edmunds, where the developers are proposing to fund a number of highway improvements outside their site.” In Clare, town council chairman Keith Haisman said the town had got “the worst of all solutions” over plans for 60 homes off Cavendish Road.

He added: “There is no detail or even proposal really to engage on traffic management, how you get down Bell corner, what you’re going to do about parking. There’s half-a-page input from Suffolk Highways on the whole of Vision 2031 for Clare. We are very disappointed in that. We didn’t think it was very strategic or visionary, quite frankly.”

A St Edmundsbury spokeswoman said Suffolk County Council had been consulted at every stage of preparing the document, and that all comments were considered by the inspector.

She added: “The Rural Vision document requires a transport assessment and safety audit as part of any application for development on the Cavendish Road site, which will be further scrutinised by the highways authority.”

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