Stowmarket: Parish councils will fight proposal to expand town’s boundary


Stowmarket - Credit: Mike Page

A controversial review is set to begin which will examine whether a town should expand its boundary to include major developments in nearby villages.

Mid Suffolk District councillors have voted to review the boundary of Stowmarket after the town council made the request in October.

Earlier this month Mid Suffolk agreed a blueprint for the Chilton Leys development in the town which could provide up to 1,000 homes over a 15-year period.

But the move by the town council has angered some of the parish councils which could be affected as parts of the new developments currently lie in land within the villages’ boundaries.

Onehouse parish chairman Ron Raisey said about a third of the Chilton Leys development was within the village. He said: “Why should a town council walk all over a small parish council? They are also trying to do it at the other end of town and the parish council there are totally against it.

“Do they want to take over all the small villages? They are just trying to ride roughshod over small parishes and we are not going to put up with it. We will fight it as far as we can.”

In the Mid Suffolk meeting, where it was agreed the review should go ahead, town and district councillor for Stowmarket North, Gary Green, said it was important to carry out the work so changes to council tax brackets, if needed, took place before people moved into the new homes.

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He said: “This all about when people move into their new homes they are already in the right council tax bracket – they need to move in there and know what they will pay from day one. It needs to be dealt with now.”

Proposals to build about 125 homes on the Farriers Road/Poplar Hill development have been met with criticism from Combs Parish Council.

District councillor Patricia Godden, who serves Combs within her Ringshall ward, said: “The Combs parish councillors and chairman are very against any more going into Stowmarket. Combs originally went right down to Combs Ford. Before they know it Combs village will just be part of Stowmarket.”

Stowmarket Town Council has said there is an “overwhelming” case for a review to ensure the community identity of Stowmarket is preserved. The review is needed to avoid the town dividing into a number of different parishes, it said.

Part of Haughley’s parish is also within the Chilton Leys development. District councillor for the village, Rachel Eburne, said Haughley Parish Council was “happy” to see the review take place.

All councillors voted for the review except for Mrs Godden who abstained and councillor John Matthissen for Onehouse who went against the proposal. The review is expected to report back to Mid Suffolk in a year.

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