Poll: Response to new homes consultation Vision 2031 in St Edmundsbury

ALMOST 200 people have responded to a consultation on plans for nearly 6,000 new homes in the Bury St Edmunds area.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council carried out the consultation on the draft Vision 2031 documents between March and April.

Vision 2031, which covers Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill and the rural parts of the borough, is a plan to guide and manage growth over the next 20 years and beyond.

In the Bury area the proposals include a 900-home plot between the Howard estate in Bury and Fornham All Saints, 500 homes at Moreton Hall, 450 between Bury and Westley, 1,250 between Bury and Great Barton and 1,250 to the south-east of the town.

The consultation process included launch events, drop-in sessions, focus groups and neighbour notification letters to about 5,000 homes informing of the proposals.

An officers’ report which is going before the borough council’s Sustainable Development Working Party today said 198 had responded to the Bury St Edmunds Vision, 71 to the Haverhill Vision and 173 to the Rural Vision.

It said there had been a “good level of engagement and response”.

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But county councillor Mark Ereira said the response to the Bury St Edmunds Vision seemed pretty low, representing 0.57% of the 35,000 adult population in Bury.

However, a petition calling on council chiefs to rethink the number of new homes has 571 names online and more than 500 on paper. The petition was launched by three of the four county councillors for Bury - Mr Ereira, Craig Dearden-Phillips and Trevor Beckwith.

Mr Ereira said: “We have noted as we promote the petition that very few people have any idea what Vision 31 actually is and the extent, nature and disproportionate negative impact of the scale of housing development proposed. Everyone is keen on some more affordable housing but not increasing the total number of houses here in Bury by 31%.”

The borough council says the housing is needed to meet population growth and says the proposed rate of growth is 513 a year, less than during the past five years.

Mr Dearden-Phillips thought 198 was not a bad response to the Bury Vision.

He said barriers to people getting involved included time and lack of belief in consultations.

Copies of all the correspondence received during the consultation period are available on the borough council website www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk

Officers will make a presentation to the working party highlighting the key points and issues arising from the consultation.

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