Bury St Edmunds: People raise concerns over level of future development at drop-in session

St Edmundsbury Borough Council is consulting on Vision 2031

St Edmundsbury Borough Council is consulting on Vision 2031 - Credit: Archant

People’s concern their town will not be able to cope with more than 5,000 extra homes has been voiced at a consultation event.

On Saturday the first in a series of drop-in sessions was held as part of the final round of consultation on Vision 2031, which is the blueprint for future growth in St Edmundsbury over the next 20 years.

At the event at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds people raised serious concerns over the level of growth proposed for the town and its impact on the local road network.

One visitor to the drop-in session, who declined to give his name, said: “I have no problem with extra development so long as it’s done with balance. I know this is spread over 20 years, but it’s going to have a huge impact on the town which cannot even cope with what it’s got.”

The retired man, who lives in the Fornham Road area of Bury, said the level of traffic was a problem already without having more homes.

He added: “Where are all these people coming from?”

Cyril Leach, from Moreton Hall, had similar views, adding he felt there had been “inadequate consultation”.

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Gavin Beale, 46, was concerned that development east of Moreton Hall would merge with the hamlet of Cattishall. The father-of-two said: “They are going to completely wipe out Cattishall.”

But Ann-Marie Howell, a planning policy officer for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said a green “buffer” to separate the two had been extended after taking on board people’s concerns.

She said there had been consultation on Vision 2031 over the past two years, adding if people thought the level of housing was too great they could put in an objection on the grounds the plan is not sound, providing evidence of that.

She said the level of future development – needed to meet population growth – was appropriate.

An independent planning inspector will make the final decision on Vision 2031.

The next drop-in session is at the Erskine Centre in Chedburgh on July 17, from 2.30-7pm. To find out how to respond to the consultation visit the St Edmundsbury Borough Council website.

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