Ixworth Parish Council chairman calls for developer to engage over ‘unsafe’ junction design
A parish council chairman is calling for a developer to engage with the community over plans for a controversial ‘ghost’ junction on the A1088 at Ixworth.
Ben Lord, chairman of Ixworth Parish Council, says the proposal for a right-hand turn to provide access to a new estate of 87 homes is “an accident waiting to happen”.
The plan for the junction was rejected by St Edmundsbury Borough Council in October 2015 but that decision was appealed by the developer Persimmon Homes Anglia.
Persimmon also submitted plans for extra access on the A143/A1088 roundabout in February 2016 – a move which was welcomed by campaigners opposing the junction.
However, the Planning Inspectorate overturned the borough council’s decision to refuse the junction at appeal, and Persimmon then withdrew its application for a five-arm roundabout.
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The developer says the junction was designed in consultation with Suffolk County Council Highways and was determined to be the safest option.
Mr Lord said he had tried to contact Persimmon but had received no response.
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He said: “We’re calling on the developer to engage with us and better understand the concerns of residents.
“There have been two accidents on ghost islands on that road since the appeal was awarded.
“One was sadly a fatality and two air ambulances were called to the other one.
“We want safe access to the development as what was in the borough council’s masterplan.
“I tried to contact the developer but never heard anything back.
“Ghost islands are unsafe on that stretch of road. It’s a accident waiting to happen.
“We want the developer to put safety before cost.”
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Suffolk said: “The junction was designed in consultation with Suffolk County Council’s Highways department with the appropriate road safety audit undertaken for this initial stage of the design.
“The consultation determined the right turn ghost island to be the safest option for this location.
“We are not aware of any recent communication received from the parish council, but applications have been submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council and discussions are ongoing.”