Leiston: New homes and revamp of town centre proposed

The public were shown plans of the future of Leiston at a special day on Saturday 27th September.

The public were shown plans of the future of Leiston at a special day on Saturday 27th September. Sammy Betson with the plans. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Nearly new 500 homes could be built in Leiston over the next 15 years if a blueprint developed by people in the town is approved by residents.

Plans also include a radical revamp for the town centre, with the possible demolition of several buildings in Sizewell Road to create a new 1,720 sq metre town square which could be used for a weekly market and events, with 2,052 sq m of new shops around its edges, a 168-space underground car park and 31 new homes.

Moves are also afoot to provide 4,000 sq m of new commercial space, while residents’ main need is for a new, larger community centre, which could be built next to the recreation ground.

Details of the proposals in the Leiston Neighbourhood Plan were unveiled at the Show Me Leiston event held Victory Road Recreation Ground.

There will now be four weeks’ consultation before the final plan is agreed, and people can still see the document at the town council offices.

The aim is for a community referendum next spring on the final plan – with a majority vote needed to accept its recommendations.

The sites put forward for housing are: 150 homes at Highbury Cottages, off Saxmundham Road; 70 in Red House Lane with an adjoining reserve site for 150 homes; 50 in Abbey Road; and 70 in St Margaret’s Crescent.

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Town councillors say the aim of the Neighbourhood Plan is to fend off unwanted development and give residents more control over where applications for various land uses will be acceptable.

Organisers were pleased with the turn-out for the Show Me event with the plan display attracting great attention. The day also featured a range of activities including stalls promoting local groups and organisations and entertainment.

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