Bury St Edmunds: Petition against 6,000 homes plan clears 300 names

HUNDREDS of people have signed up to call on council chiefs to rethink their plans for nearly 6,000 homes in one of Suffolk’s best loved towns.

The proposed new homes were laid out in St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Vision 2031, on which the authority consulted earlier this year.

The proposals include a 900-home plot between the Howard estate in Bury and Fornham All Saints, 500 homes at Moreton Hall, 450 between Bury and Westley, 1,250 between Bury and Great Barton and 1,250 to the south-east of the town.

In response, a number of councillors, backed by parish councils and a number of residents in the town, launched a petition saying they “reject the proposed sites for exponential housing growth and development contained in St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s ‘Core Strategy’ and Bury St Edmunds Vision 2031 documents.”

It is understood the proposed 5,900 allocation extra homes would be a 31% increase on the current numbers and mean an extra 15,000 living in Bury.

More than 200 people have signed the petition online with scores more putting their names to a number of paper copies being presented around the town.

Trevor Beckwith, one of the councillors behind the petition, said: “What I’m finding is that people are really supportive. But one of things which has surprised me was that many people were unaware of the scale of the housing being proposed, the population growth that would ensue and the petition itself.”

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Mr Beckwith said the petition was supportive of new housing but on a smaller scale.

One of those who has signed the online petition said: “I am not against the provision of affordable housing or the development of brownfield sites. I do object to over development in the countryside without any significant proposals to solve existing well known infrastructure problems.

“Bury St Edmunds is an attractive market town, do not try to turn it into a city.”

Another said: “Bury is becoming a smaller version of Cambridge which is where we lived for over 20 years.

“The developers (in Cambridge) took no notice to the residents and continued to build and increase the shopping centres until it became unbearable for residents to get anywhere.

“It would take one hour to travel accross the three miles that was the centre of town. It changed the feel of the beautiful old town. I am dissappointed that the same is happening here. There is more to our town than commercialism.”

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We will consider the petition once it is presented and deal with it as required.”

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