Anger over village factory plans
RESIDENTS have united in their anger over two proposed development which look set to irreversibly change a picture postcard village.Printing company Lavenham Press have announced plans to move to a purpose-built factory in Melford Road, paving the way for 30 new homes on their current site in Water Street.
RESIDENTS have united in their anger over two proposed development which look set to irreversibly change a picture postcard village.
Printing company Lavenham Press have announced plans to move to a purpose-built factory in Melford Road, paving the way for 30 new homes on their current site in Water Street.
Councillors who will next month discuss the plans are being urged to refuse them by residents living near both areas.
In Water Street, there are fears of a fatal accident if any more traffic is allowed through their picturesque road.
Joy Ranzetta said: "How anybody has not already been killed in Water Street is a mystery. The traffic is horrendous now and if they are going to build a substantial amount of houses, it is only going to get worse.
"The cars do not come down here fast but there are so many of them. It can sometimes take up to half an hour just to get out of my driveway.
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"Though the lorry drivers who come down the road are very respectful, they come right on the pavement and next to the houses. I am really worried someone is going to get killed."
Lindsay Warden said her main concern was the number of homes, which would make the site one of the most densely populated housing schemes in the Babergh district.
She said: "I feel very strongly about the density of the site and I feel the actual design of the homes is not in keeping with Lavenham.
"I also feel very strongly that there must be some provision for young people otherwise Lavenham will be a place for people to retire and it won't be a living village.
"It is a pity Lavenham Press couldn't expand on their current site as we have never had any problems. I just can't see the logic behind the move."
"I am not against the development per se as it was inevitable the site would be developed. But I feel they have missed an opportunity to do something absolutely marvellous.
"The designs are not very imaginative for something as special as Lavenham."
The homes are likely to be valued at about £200,000 and include no plans for affordable homes.
Instead developers Hopkins Homes are expected to offer up to £75,000 towards social housing in other parts of the village.
But the lack of affordable housing included in the Water Street scheme have been met with disappointment by Pat Avey , of Spring Street, whose 23-year-old daughter Jo is looking for a house.
She said: "I would have hoped some of the houses were a bit cheaper so people like my daughter could remain in Lavenham.
"Without cheaper housing, I cannot see any way she can stay in the village."
But Margaret Morley, who lives next door to the current factory site in Water Street, said she was not too concerned about the prospect of having 30 new neighbours.
She said: "This is a difficult issue but I think if it is going to happen, you might as well look on the bright side. There will no doubt be a bit more traffic but it at least means we will not have any more enormous lorries."
Residents in another part of the village are also launching a campaign – against the possibility of the new two and a half acre all-purpose factory in Melford Road.
An action group has been set up to oppose the plans and John Norton, who is spearheading the campaign, said there were a number of reasons why the new factory should not get the go-ahead.
Mr Norton explained: "It is clear a lot of people at this end of the village are upset about the plans and there have been a number of objections sent in to Babergh District Council.
"We feel it is totally unacceptable for a number of reasons including noise and increased traffic on an already dangerous road."
Mr Norton, who has only lived in his property in Sudbury Road for 15 months, also fears nearby properties could be devalued.
He added: "I know Lavenham Press has historically been in the village but I think they should now move to somewhere like the Chilton Industrial Estate in Sudbury, where the facilities are right for that sort of unit."
Clare Fisher, of Harwood Place, said she feared there could be a serious accident if even more traffic was allowed on Melford Road.
Terence Dalton, managing director of Lavenham Press, moved to allay residents' fears.
He said: "We currently only have between 60 and 80 vehicle movements a day off our current site. We have 49 staff and many will be travelling to work by bicycle.
"We do have occasional HGV lorries and delivery vehicles but nothing extreme and we will certainly keep movement on the site to a minimum.
"Also any noise from production will be contained by the latest insulating materials."
No one at Hopkins Homes was available for comment yesterday .