Bury St Edmunds: Inspector’s proposed changes to Vision 2031 ‘don’t deal with impact of homes on town’

Independent planning inspector Roger Clews (centre) at the start of a public inquiry into Vision 203

Independent planning inspector Roger Clews (centre) at the start of a public inquiry into Vision 2031. - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised about the impact of thousands of new homes on Bury St Edmunds after an inspector chose not to recommend changes relating to the issue in his response to the borough’s growth plan.

Planning inspector Roger Clews’ recommendations about St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Vision 2031 documents were revealed this week.

Among his proposed modifications are that a piece of green open space known as the Leg of Mutton should be protected from development.

Vision 2031 would pave the way for about 6,000 new homes in Bury.

Former magistrate Meg Clibbon, from Bury, said she was “absolutely delighted” the Leg of Mutton had been saved, but was disappointed the inspector had not recommended modifications to reflect the impact of the extra homes on the historic town.

She said: “It’s bound to have a detrimental effect on the town and I’m disappointed that wasn’t made more of in his modifications, but I’m afraid it was fairly inevitable as having gone so far with the plan I got the impression quite early on only very minor tweaking was going to be possible.”

The number of homes planned for the town up to 2031 was already determined by the Core Strategy which was adopted in 2010.

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Ian Poole, from the borough council, said the inspector had not proposed changes to do with traffic mitigation. “The fact he’s made no modifications in terms of requirements gives us a feeling that he’s okay that measures are in place or can be put in place to overcome the traffic impact and his final report should cast light on that.”

He said that as plans for the strategic sites came forward developers would have to carry out traffic assessments which would have to be looked at by the county council and Highways Agency.

Councillor Trevor Beckwith said: “There’s no holistic view of this and it’s going to lead to utter chaos.

“To say it’s going to be sorted out at the detailed planning stage is nonsense.”

People can comment on the recommendations until May 30 by going to the borough council’s website.