Chamber of Commerce calls for Haverhill Coupals Road/Great Wilsey Park link road

Haverhill High Street

Haverhill High Street - Credit: Archant

Business leaders in Haverhill are calling on developers to reinstate a controversial link road in the plans for 2,500 homes in the town.

The Haverhill Chamber of Commerce believes the decision to not build the road, which would have joined the Great Wilsey Farm development to Coupals Road, has put the town’s future economic success at risk.

Plans for the road were first raised nearly three years ago, when St Edmundsbury Borough Council included the link in their draft local plan, Vision 2031.

Vocal opposition from residents of Haverhill argued the road would be damaging to the environment and the new country park, which will be built by the housing developers to the east of the planned 2,500 houses.

Chamber spokesman, Jason Andre, said: “The chamber board understand that representations about this have been made to the town and borough councils.

“While local concerns are always understandable, there are times when changes are needed for the longer-term benefit of all.

“In order fully to understand the issues, members of the chamber board arranged to meet with senior borough planners.

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“On visiting the site, much to the members’ surprise, it became apparent that the allegations are at odds with the facts. “Environmentally, a mere handful of trees would be lost to the road, to be more than compensated by the substantial tree planting required throughout the proposed development.

“It was also quickly established that the new Country Park would in no way be compromised by the road.

“The omission of the road would result in excessive travel for anyone from the eastern section of the new development wishing to access either the main industrial areas and the various leisure and commercial enterprises situated to the east of the town.

“In time, these employment areas are likely to be even more pertinent to the town’s overall success than they are at present.”

The chamber also warned that if it was built when the development goes ahead, the taxpayer may have to pay for it in the future, rather than landowners.

Pat Hanlon, a Haverhill Town councillor for the east ward, said residents have concerns about both the Coupals Road link and the plan to join Chalkstone Way to the development.

“For me, the road coming out onto Chalkstone Way is the biggest concern,” he said. “You have three schools on that road and adding to it traffic from 2,500 homes is just daft.

“My biggest issue is with the Chalkstone Way road, and I can see that having the second road on to Coupals Road would alleviate the amount of traffic.

“However, I do have some 200 residents on my ward that really don’t want the Coupals Road link. They want the country park, not a road. So I am afraid I am going to have to sit on the fence.”

In the current masterplan for the development, residents will be able to access and leave the estate via Chalkstone Way and Haverhill Road.