‘We want adequate protection’ - council under pressure to combat boy racing on estate

The boy racing has been happening on the new roads at the edge of the Moreton Hall estate, on the ou

The boy racing has been happening on the new roads at the edge of the Moreton Hall estate, on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds. The picture shows Skyliner Way Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

Legal powers to combat boy racers on a Bury St Edmunds estate could be brought in to tackle the problem.

Antisocial driving has been happening on edge-of-town Moreton Hall for a number of years, with some residents complaining it is blighting their lives.

The Moreton Hall Residents’ Association (MHRA), as well as county councillor for the estate, Trevor Beckwith, want a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to cover the area. Failure to comply with the order would be an offence.

MORE: ‘This has gone on long enough’ - action on boy racers is being taken, residents toldWest Suffolk Council’s cabinet is looking to consider a PSPO for Moreton Hall as an option and, if it agrees, the council would look to gather further evidence and then consult with residents in the area.

There is already such an order in place in the town centre and Mr Beckwith said powers to protect the estate were long overdue.

“We have a population a quarter of the town. We want adequate protection from antisocial behaviour. It’s not unreasonable to ask, so that’s the point I will be making to the cabinet,” he said.

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And Bob Houlton-Hart, secretary of the MHRA, said having it on the cabinet agenda was a “step in the right direction and should be welcomed”.

The report, which will be discussed at the cabinet meeting on September 22, said the council had been asked to consider a standalone PSPO for Moreton Hall, as well as variations to other existing PSPOs, but “due to Covid-19 restrictions conducting a more robust consultation process, in relation to the variations put forward, proved difficult”.

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It is therefore recommended that a review is concluded by February 2021 and a recommendation made to cabinet.

Previously, Cliff Hind, chairman of the MHRA, said the racers were continuing to use new roads where residential streets meet the industrial area, and are now also using the new link to the A14.

Mr Hind, who has first-hand experience of being disturbed by the noise, said the situation had “now gone on for long enough and someone really needs to get a grip on this”.

As well as wanting more action from police, he said a PSPO was needed to stop the problem.

Inspector Matt Paisley, police locality inspector for Bury St Edmunds, stressed boy racing was a priority issue for officers and there would be more patrols, including from the new Kestrel team.

•Insp Paisley said the public should contact the police on 999 if they are witnessing dangerous behaviour. Information can also be reported to Suffolk police here, call them on 101 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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