Fury at villages homes plan

By Richard SmithCAMPAIGNERS will highlight today the drawbacks of plans to build up to 1,500 homes in their twin villages.Villagers from Trimley St Mary and Trimley St Martin, near Felixstowe, will warn at a noon protest meeting that their cherished countryside could be irrevocably lost, submerged by new developments proposed by landowner Trinity College, Cambridge.

By Richard Smith

CAMPAIGNERS will highlight today the drawbacks of plans to build up to 1,500 homes in their twin villages.

Villagers from Trimley St Mary and Trimley St Martin, near Felixstowe, will warn at a noon protest meeting that their cherished countryside could be irrevocably lost, submerged by new developments proposed by landowner Trinity College, Cambridge.

The college unveiled yesterday a revised vision for the future for the villages and the edge of Walton.

There are some major changes to the original plans, but disappointed villagers warned the amendments were not sufficient to protect them against unwanted urban sprawl.

Tim Collins, partner in Bidwells, agents for the college, said under current government guidelines for housing density - which may change in the years before any work starts - about 1,200 to 1,500 homes could be built.

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He added the revised proposals had taken note of residents' wishes to keep the villages separate and there would now be no homes built on fields between Gun Lane and Gaymers Lane one side of High Road, nor Church Lane and Thurman's Lane on the other.

“There is now very clear definition between the two villages - keeping their separate identities was one of the core things which people said during the consultation,” said Mr Collins.

“People also said they did not want traffic down these country lanes and the new proposals would ensure they remained green lanes.”

The proposals omit the moving of the railway station, but do include a village centre with a supermarket and employment area behind Reeve Lodge and a primary school plus a site for a secondary school if needed later.

Most of the development would now take place behind the sports and social club and mushroom farm down to the railway line, and between the link road off the A14 and Church Lane.

Mr Collins said there would also be extensive landscaping and that would be done well in advance of any development.

In Walton, the area of land for education and housing behind Orwell High School remains, but the route of the proposed link road from the Candlet Road Walton bypass to High Street is slightly altered with housing alongside.

Ian Cowan, of Save Trimley Against Growth pressure group, said: “Planning permission for 1,500 houses will set a precedent and make it easier for more homes to be built in the future. We will end up with an urban sprawl stretching all the way from Felixstowe to Ipswich.

“We already have empty shops in the village, so what will happen to the rest when a supermarket opens? The same thing that happens everywhere else - they could be forced out of business.

“In addition, a supermarket will generate huge amounts of car traffic so that shoppers will be joining the traffic jams of commuters on the High Road.”

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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