Residents oppose social housing plan
By Richard SmithMORE than 100 residents have displayed notices in their homes opposing a controversial plan to build 35 houses and flats on former allotments.
By Richard Smith
MORE than 100 residents have displayed notices in their homes opposing a controversial plan to build 35 houses and flats on former allotments.
A total of 180 people have signed a petition protesting about the scale and position of the development, which they claimed could become a “social housing ghetto”.
The scheme has been submitted by Suffolk Heritage Housing Association on woodland that has been unused for 30 years off Haugh Lane in Woodbridge. It has become a wildlife haven for deer, foxes, a nightingale and other birds.
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The association hopes the new homes for people on the housing register will be completed within 12 months and will ease the homelessness problem in Woodbridge, where house prices have risen sharply in recent years.
But the proposal for the one-hectare site has angered residents in Warwick Avenue, Bredfield Road, Haughgate Close, Haugh Lane, Woolnough Road, Edwin Avenue and North Hill - and they have formed the Residents Against Haugh Lane Development Association.
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Lena Taylor, association chairman, said campaigners were not against social housing, but they believed it was in the wrong place with poor access into the development and too far from the town centre.
“We believe the proposed scheme to be completely inappropriate for Woodbridge, for the neighbouring residents and, most importantly, for those who may live in the development,” she added.
“No fewer than 35 houses and flats would be crammed into the woodland area - bordered by Warwick Avenue, Bredfield Road and Woolnough Road, with access only from a 100-metre single track road from Haughgate Close, crossing the busy Haugh Lane footpath.
“Such a high density of housing with as many as 100 people, in this inaccessible part of the town, could create more social disadvantage for those living in the new accommodation and for residents of all the surrounding roads.
“A doubling of traffic would create safety hazards for children in Haugh Lane and another unspoilt refuge for endangered wildlife in Woodbridge would be lost for ever.”
The plans will be discussed tonight by Woodbridge Town Council before Suffolk Coastal District Council makes the final decision. The EADT was unable to get a comment from Suffolk Heritage Housing Association.