Concern over ‘crumbling’ services in Saxmundham after plan suggests 800 new homes could be built

Phillip Dunnett, chairman of Saxmundham Town Council, said the town’s infrastructure was already “crumbling” and urged residents to make their views known.

Suffolk Coastal council is holding a 10-week consultation on the issues and options facing the district over the next 18 years as part of a review of its local plan.

Having reviewed its housing need, the district reckons sites need to be found for more than 10,000 new homes as demand rises and the population grows.

One scenario for siting the properties suggests strengthening the East Suffolk economy along the A12 Suffolk Energy Gateway Scheme (SEGway) route, leading to a substantial increase in housing building in the towns and villages alongside the road.

Figures produced by the council suggest Saxmundham could take between 247 and 853 new homes.

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In the past few years the town has seen around 500 new homes granted approval – on sites off Rendham Road and Church Road – with more still to be built.

Some 15-plus sites have been put forward hundreds of extra homes, including using all the farmland between Saxmundham and Benhall Green.

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The town council held an extraordinary meeting this week to discuss the issue.

Mr Dunnett said his concern was the “infrastructure is crumbling” in the town.

He said: “People need to respond to this consultation because we cannot in this town keep accepting more development without the proper infrastructure that goes with it.”

Concerns have already been voiced over capacity at the primary school with one tentative homes plan earmarking land for a new one; and there are worries over whether medical facilities would cope with a large influx of people.

Tony Fryatt, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member for planning, said: “It is important that delivery of housing across this district matches the need of communities by building more homes that people want to live in, in places people want to live.

“To help communities, a Local Plan needs to provide housing opportunities for younger people, families and older people as well as encouraging a range of employment opportunities alongside the delivery of infrastructure at the right time.

“A Local Plan can help deliver the vision for each community across the district by setting out the level of growth which needs to be planned for and identifies where that growth should go.

“This consultation is the first stage in the process and the first opportunity for members of the public, partners and interested parties to have their say.”

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