Residents quiz developers
SHOTLEY residents last night seized the opportunity to ask questions and about proposals to build up to 500 homes on the former HMS Ganges site.Representatives from developers Haylink, Babergh District and Suffolk County Council were quizzed about the implications and possible benefits for the community at a packed meeting in the village hall.
SHOTLEY residents last night seized the opportunity to ask questions and about proposals to build up to 500 homes on the former HMS Ganges site.
Representatives from developers Haylink, Babergh District and Suffolk County Council were quizzed about the implications and possible benefits for the community at a packed meeting in the village hall.
Traffic was top of the agenda in the light of last month's accident at the Freston junction of the B1080 with the main Shotley to Ipswich B1456 road in which two young people died.
Suffolk Highways representative Bob Leonard said the potential traffic increase could reach the road's carrying capacity and, it had been calculated, would exceed capacity at the Freston junction and at the junction with the A137. If satisfactory remedies could not be agreed this could lead to the county objecting to the plan, he said.
But for Ellen Bateman, the traffic issue was not only about when the houses were built.
She asked: "How is the council thinking of dealing with the construction traffic? Is it possible to put in a pre-condition that the road must be widened before the first construction lorry goes on it?"
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Mrs Bateman, whose student son, John, 19, died when his Skoda car was in collision with a Suffolk County Council bus at Chelmondiston, in March 2001, said the road was just not wide enough for heavy lorries.
Babergh planning officer Martin Price assured her that it could be possible to impose conditions on construction traffic.
People seemed prepared to accept that a development could go ahead as long as they could be assured that all their concerns could be met and solutions found to potential problems.
Questions were raised about what would happen to legal agreements and money conditional on a planning approval. People were assured that agreements would be binding even if Haylink were to decide not to build but to sell the land on with planning permission to another developer.
Mr Price said money for village facilities, extra school places and for road improvements, if agreed, would also have to be spent for that purpose and could not go back into a central pot at the county council to be used elsewhere.
The lack of facilities for the current and a potentially much enlarged teenage population was also raised and Mr Price suggested that the community come up with a list which could be put to the developers.
Mike Mitchell spoke for many at the meeting when he thanked both Haylink and Babergh representatives for making sure the peninsula communities were kept informed and widely consulted on the proposal.
Shotley Parish Council is to consider its responses to the planning application at its next meeting on September 18.