Rumpus at meeting snub
By Richard SmithANGRY residents have complained they were refused entry to a meeting about the future redevelopment of a town centre.A decision to send out private invitations to the meeting to selected people and ignore some residents living close to New Street Primary School in Woodbridge has infuriated residents.
By Richard Smith
ANGRY residents have complained they were refused entry to a meeting about the future redevelopment of a town centre.
A decision to send out private invitations to the meeting to selected people and ignore some residents living close to New Street Primary School in Woodbridge has infuriated residents.
Chaos arose when "bogus invitations" were sent to hundreds of residents in the town – and when people arrived with their "invites", they were turned away and up to 150 people were refused admission.
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The row erupted at the start of public consultation on the complex redevelopment plans for the primary school, which could move to a site on Pytches Road in Melton.
The old school site would be turned into a new home for the town's library, flats and housing, with the former library used for healthcare provision.
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Suffolk County Council and developers, G&E Woodbridge Consortium Ltd, said they were "very embarrassed and upset" that leaflets had been distributed without their knowledge inviting people to a consultation presentation and "deeply regretted" it had not been possible to accommodate those without invitation.
Henry Sewell, of Angel Lane, said he had had a notice pushed through his door inviting him to attend the meeting on Thursday evening.
"There were hundreds of these notices put through people's doors. When we turned up for the 6pm meeting we were asked for our address," he added. "We were told that it was some malicious joke that we had got this notice. We were not allowed into the meeting."
Nick Wright, of Victoria Road, added: "There is a great deal of disquiet in the town about this development and it seems to be that this consultation was done by private invitation only."
Paul Feeney, of New Street, said: "This whole project has lacked open consultation from the start, despite being one which will have a major and irrevocable impact upon the whole of Woodbridge and, in particular, the centre of the town."
Suffolk county councillor, Nigel Barratt, said there had been a lot of disgruntled people who had not been invited into the meeting and had been angry at being turned away.