Stowupland construction traffic raises safety fears for walkers
- Credit: Keith Welham
Concerns have been raised over construction traffic in Stowupland, amid safety fears for pedestrians and cyclists.
Bloor Homes is currently building an 80-home development on land south east of Gipping Road, but Mid Suffolk and Suffolk County ward councillor Keith Welham said construction traffic has been using narrow country lanes to access the land even though HGV routes to the site have not yet been agreed.
According to Mr Welham, the road is frequently used by pedestrians, cyclists, dog walkers, joggers and horse riders.
"These roads are only just wide enough for a single lorry," he said.
"There is nowhere for oncoming vehicles, cyclists or horses to pass these large vehicles. In many places there are no verges for pedestrians to escape onto.
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"Lorries began emerging from the site two weeks ago; there have been near misses because of the lack of visibility and narrowness of the road. There are stables nearby and horse riders regularly use the road past the site entrance.
"I understand that people who bought their homes on the earlier phases of the development will not want another two years of construction traffic but the safety implications of the alternative suggested by the developer are unacceptable."
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A construction management plan was submitted by Bloor on May 11, but a decision on that has not yet been made by planning officers.
Mr Welham has called for the work to stop until an approved construction management plan which provides clarity on safe routes has been agreed.
It is understood the spine road for the first phases of housebuilding was what had been planned originally, and Bloor has suspended use of the narrow lanes for now while conversations continue.
However, Mr Welham said: "Residents fear that the result of this will be HGVs returning to the narrow roads."
A spokesman from Bloor said: "We have been made aware of the local concerns and we are currently in discussions with the council about this matter."
A Mid Suffolk District Council spokeswoman added: "Our planning team is currently investigating reports of construction traffic using Gipping Road and has received assurances from the developer that use of this access will be suspended while we continue to look into this.
“Mid Suffolk District Council remains committed to working together with our towns and parishes to find the best solution for delivering new homes, and is very appreciative of the efforts of Stowupland residents in developing a neighbourhood plan.
"This has played an important role in shaping the village to date, but unfortunately does not accommodate as much growth as our draft joint local plan anticipates will be needed.”