Villagers fear 800 homes plan

By John HowardVILLAGERS have called for a public meeting to discuss a proposal to build up to 800 homes in the countryside.George Wimpey UK wants Mid Suffolk District Council to earmark land between Chilton Fields and Onehouse for new homes in its Local Plan - the planning blueprint for the area.

By John Howard

VILLAGERS have called for a public meeting to discuss a proposal to build up to 800 homes in the countryside.

George Wimpey UK wants Mid Suffolk District Council to earmark land between Chilton Fields and Onehouse for new homes in its Local Plan - the planning blueprint for the area.

But villagers fear their community could become a suburb of Stowmarket and their rural identity lost forever if the proposal goes ahead.

Senior council officers said if the proposal got the go-ahead, a country park or landscaping could be created to act as a buffer between Stowmarket and neighbouring Onehouse.

Arlene Cruickshanks, chairman of Onehouse Parish Council, said: “Mid Suffolk District Council told us there would be a public meeting and we really need this.

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“There are real fears about the development, we do not want it and if it has to go ahead, it has to be right.”

Onehouse resident, Ray Taylor, added: “Without a doubt this will affect our quality of life. We like being in the countryside and have fields all round us at the moment.

“The local playing fields will stay, but become enclosed by houses and there will be access on to the A14. We will have extra noise, be overlooked and the pauper's graveyard at the bottom of the garden will be wrecked.”

Stephen Andrews, the council's local plan manager, said: “The land bid is part of the ongoing local plan review process and will be the subject of extensive consultation over the next few months.

“We will be discussing the future growth of Stowmarket with villages around the area and no decisions have been taken yet.

“The subject will be discussed during a series of exhibitions to be held during the autumn, where people will be invited to give their comments on a number of potential local planning issues.”

George Wimpey UK said it felt unable to comment on the proposal because it was at an early stage, but confirmed its interest in developing the land.

john.howard@eadt.co.uk

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