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Bury St Edmunds: Final call for people to try and protect land through consultation

10:15 30 May 2014

Land known as the Leg of Mutton in Bury St Edmunds.

Land known as the Leg of Mutton in Bury St Edmunds.

Martin Lightfoot

Campaigners are making a final plea for those who care about a piece of green open space in Bury St Edmunds to make their views known to a planning inspector.

The Bury Water Meadows Group, supported by the Bury Society, is seeking to protect the ‘Leg of Mutton’ – a 15-hectare plot of agricultural land – from future development.

The land is included in St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s draft Vision 2031 documents, which is a blueprint for future development in the area.

Consultation closes at 5pm tonight on the changes to the documents which have been proposed by independent planning inspector Roger Clews, who led a public inquiry into Vision earlier this year.

Mr Clews has recommended the land be designated for “amenity public open space for informal outdoor recreation,” with any building related to that use.

But in a twist to the story last week, it emerged Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club is considering relocating or expanding onto the site.

This followed the decision of the borough council’s cabinet to object to the inspector’s modification, but a spokesman said while technically it was objecting it was just seeking extra information.

Karen Hurden, the new chairman of the Bury Society, said: “This is an important moment for all those who wish to see this land protected. It only takes five minutes to print and fill out the form at www.bury-watermeadowsgroup.com.”

Andrew Hinchley, chairman of the group, said its plans for wildflower meadows and woodland at the Leg of Mutton would deliver real benefits to the townspeople.

The borough council has said it supports keeping the policy for the Leg of Mutton, but seeks clarification from the inspector on the “viability and deliverability” of the proposed modification and on what “informal recreation” means.

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