Residents' anger at railway halt plans

CAMPAIGNERS who fear their village will become a suburb of one of Suffolk's biggest towns have criticised plans to create a railway halt for the 2,000 proposed new homes in the area.

Will Clarke

CAMPAIGNERS who fear their village will become a suburb of one of Suffolk's biggest towns have criticised plans to create a railway halt for the 2,000 proposed new homes in the area.

Residents of Westley, near Bury St Edmunds, who have launched a campaign against a housing and industrial development between their village and the town, have criticised St Edmundsbury Borough Council's transport plans in the area.

They described the plans as “unviable” for the 59-hectare site off Newmarket Road.


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Jim Sweetman, a Westley resident and member of the Save the Village campaign, said: “As far as the people of Westley are concerned we believe we don't want the extra traffic and parking associated with a railway halt.

“We don't believe there is a case for the west ward expansion of Bury. The ideas they are talking about a totally unviable.

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“If any of this is going to be considered further they need to think of wider scenario, rather than just focusing on Bury.

“Now we are in a recession in East Anglia I would question there is the economic growth to justify massive housing growth in Bury.”

The proposals for Westley are one of series of ideas being considered to become part of St Edmundsbury's masterplan, which will set out the borough's building strategy up to 2021.

Terry Clements, St Edmundsbury cabinet member for planning, said they had made no decisions about where any halts might be but he stressed the importance of the railways in providing the infrastructure to support the masterplan.

“We are considering everything,” he said. “But everyone recognises that railways are central to what we are doing.

“It is very open; nothing has been decided. We are taking peoples' views into consideration and we are looking at the long term picture.

“The recession will have an effect on the masterplan and we may have to look at the layout of some of the sites. There maybe extra money for social housing while private housing could be put back - but that decision will be up to the developers.”

Mr Clements also stressed the council was conscious villages around Bury should keep country space around them.

Other transport ideas under consideration for the Westley area include bus services bringing commuters and shoppers from Westley into Bury.

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