Villagers voice caravan park fears

CONCERNED residents opposing plans to build a caravan park say the development will more than double the size of their tiny rural village.

Mark Lord

CONCERNED residents opposing plans to build a caravan park say the development will more than double the size of their tiny rural village.

More than 35 people attended a special meeting of Chediston and Linstead Parish Council to air their fears about the proposal - which would see 59 static mobile homes and 17 touring caravans sited in the community.

The controversial development, at Grove Farm in Linstead Magna, near Halesworth, could be used for up to 11 months of the year.

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Among the concerns raised by villagers were issues with traffic, lack of amenities in the area, problems with flooding and light and noise pollution.

Speaking about traffic problems one resident told Monday night's meeting: “These plans will more than double the size of the village. At the moment Linstead has about 40 houses and the development has the potential for 400 people which equates to roughly 200 cars.

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“The roads around Linstead and the surrounding villages are not good, they are narrow with many blind corners and thus the impact of this development on the local area will be considerable.”

Another resident, who farms the land around the application site, asked what was being put in place to deal with drainage on the site.

“We know that land and it is definitely prone to flooding, you only have to dig down about a foot in winter for the hole to fill with water,” he said.

The site, which was originally a farm before becoming an equestrian centre, has now been bought by John and Diana Bettison, who are proposing the development.

The agent for the applicants, Len Gooch, said that apart from the entrance to the site the county surveyor had raised no issues regarding traffic.

“At the moment surface water goes to the ditch, but we will put in some new ponds, using surface evaporation to help deal with the problem and there will be significant planting of trees which will also take up some of the water,” he added.

The applicants also assured residents that any lighting would be minimal and there for the safety of site users and that noise levels would be monitored.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Bettison said: “We were expecting some opposition but perhaps not quite the hostility we experienced. We have listened to what was said but we are committed to this project and will be talking again with the district council about finding a way forward.”

After the meeting those villagers opposed to the plans signed a petition which will now be handed to Suffolk Coastal District Council.

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