Village homes rumpus

VILLAGERS are campaigning to stop a former piggery complex being demolished to make way for more than 90 homes in their community.If successful, Walsham-le-Willows, near Bury St Edmunds, would gain a mixture of large houses, terraced homes, flats, social housing, and a new shop.

VILLAGERS are campaigning to stop a former piggery complex being demolished to make way for more than 90 homes in their community.

If successful, Walsham-le-Willows, near Bury St Edmunds, would gain a mixture of large houses, terraced homes, flats, social housing, and a new shop.

Mid Suffolk District Council is considering a planning application for the development at Elmside Farm, Finningham Road, within the next few days.

If given the go-ahead it would mean the village would expand by around 25% because there are currently about 400 homes in Walsham-le-Willows.


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Nearly 90 people have contacted the council about the development. They have claimed it is an over development on a site which is not brownfield, and claimed there would be increased traffic problems and a lack of adequate bus service to serve people's needs.

And despite some people welcoming a new shop, others have claimed the development is out of character with the area.

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The parish council said the majority of the village did not want to see more than 50 homes on the whole site. Councillors believe less homes means less traffic in an already congested main road through the village.

Andrew Stringer, a district councillor who will be among those debating the development, said yesterday: "The development, as it stands at the moment, is causing massive local opposition.

"I do worry about increasing a village by this much from the 400 homes at present, there are great crested newts on site in one corner that I am worried about building on top of too. It is very important we take note of public opinion.

"But the overall design is of a very good quality, almost a model development, and the properties mirror the reading room and other properties in the village.

"I fear that if this is rejected we will see large executive homes going through, which is perhaps what some people in the village want.''

The site at Elmside Farm was a former piggery, but is currently unused and adjoins a Conservation Area.

Gary Pullan, planning control manager, is recommending the development is given the green-light by councillors subject to conditions. Mr Pullan said that a new shop would be created within the centre of the site and trees and shrubs planted throughout the site to compliment the mature trees which will be kept.

The district council's Northern Area Planning Control Committee is meeting from 9.30am on Monday at their Needham Market offices to discuss the development.

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