Villages say no to new homes
By John HowardALMOST 200 villagers packed last night into a public meeting to deliver a resounding rejection of a bid to build hundreds of homes in their village.
By John Howard
ALMOST 200 villagers packed last night into a public meeting to deliver a resounding rejection of a bid to build hundreds of homes in their village.
The public meeting was held at Onehouse Community Centre following fears up to 800 new homes could be built on fields in the village.
George Wimpey Ltd 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 at the public meeting last night there was little doubt villagers did not want such a large-scale development.
It heard from district council planning officers, the village's MP, David Ruffley, and parish and district councillors.
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Stephen Andrews, local plans manager with Mid Suffolk District Council, said the developers could be made to provide affordable homes as part of any future housing plan.
“There are no done deals in any of these different development proposals. We have simply asked landowners to front up and say where they are interested in developing,” he added.
“There is opportunity for villagers to say where they want to be in 20 years' time. None of the parcels of land that developers want to be developed have been committed to by the council.”
Mr Ruffley said: “This should not be about cutting a deal with the developer that is not too bad. I just do not think this should go ahead, it is not a question of getting an okay deal.
“It's all to play for, nothing is set in stone at the moment and people power does work.”
Bruce Laker, district councillor for Onehouse, said villagers were determined about not being forced into something they did not want.
Mid Suffolk District Council planning officers said they would be taking residents' concerns on board and insisted nothing had yet been decided.