Increased traffic is a key concern around proposed Bury St Edmunds development of 1,250 homes
- Credit: Contributed
Traffic has been raised as a key issue by people who attended a public exhibition on the vision for a 1,250-home development in south-east Bury St Edmunds.
House builder Hopkins Homes and development partner Pigeon have held two consultation events this week on their plans for a new neighbourhood called Abbots Vale, on land behind Rougham Hill and Sicklesmere Road.
People’s feedback will help to inform the preparation of the draft masterplan and outline planning application, which Hopkins Homes and Pigeon hope to submit to St Edmundsbury Borough Council this summer.
The knock-on effect of increased traffic on the local road network emerged as a key theme among people who went to the event on Wednesday, held at the Victory Ground in Bury.
While Angela Rushen, borough councillor for the nearby village of Chedburgh, approved of the concept for the development, she said: “Traffic is my main concern. The road infrastructure we have got wasn’t designed for the 21st century.
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“We have got larger and larger lorries, we have got more and more cars and with 1,250 homes there’s going to be an awful lot of extra traffic in the area.”
A relief road, linking Rougham Road to Sicklesmere road, will be built through the development.
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Chris Smith, from Hopkins, said it would not be a bypass and would have a speed limit of no more than 30mph. Its primary purpose will be to serve the development though it will provide an alternative route for some traffic.
Mrs Rushen said: “Is it going to become a rat run?”
Sanchia Willis, aged nearly 70, of The Curlews, said she was “all for” more homes being built, but was unsure how Sicklesmere Road would cope with the extra traffic.
“It’s the main road to Sudbury and it’s only like a country road,” she said.
The developers are also proposing improvements to the local road network to help alleviate traffic, for example installing traffic lights at the Southgate Green roundabout.
They are also looking to create a network of new and improved footpaths, cycle routes and riverside walks through the site, connecting to the town centre, Nowton Park and the surrounding countryside.
The development will include a new primary school, about 25 hectares of public open space, and provision for a community centre and shops.
The lorry park at Rougham Hill will remain, but the land where the golf driving range is currently is part of the proposed development area.
People have until midnight on June 7 to comment on the plans. For more information visit www.abbotsvale.com