December 6 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 27, 2013
Hundreds of objections have been raised during a consultation on a blueprint for thousands of new homes in St Edmundsbury.
A St Edmundsbury Borough Council report said 311 objections had been made in response to the final draft of Bury St Edmunds Vision 2031 and the supporting documents during the final round of public consultation between June and August.
At a meeting of the full council on Monday councillors will make a decision on whether to formally submit the Vision documents to the Secretary of State and subsequent examination by the Planning Inspectorate.
The Vision plans include about 900 homes between the Howard Estate and Fornham All Saints, about 500 at Moreton Hall, about 1,250 between Bury and Great Barton, about 1,250 to the south-east of the town and about 450 to the west of the town.
During the last round of consultation people were asked to comment on whether the documents were ‘sound’ and ‘legally compliant’.
In total, 150 people made written responses on the final draft of Bury St Edmunds Vision, with 311 objections and 84 responses in support.
The strain extra homes would put on infrastructure has been a key issue in the past, and this came out during the consultation.
Commenting on the Moreton Hall strategic site (policy BV4), Joyce Kirk said: “Vision 2031 is flawed/unsound, the main reason being lack of details as to how the infrastructure deemed necessary will be provided. It is no good building all these new houses if transport grinds to a halt due to insufficient road improvements.”
Responding to the sustainability appraisal, British Sugar plc, said if key issues - including the effects on existing businesses - “are not properly addressed and the proposed housing allocation proceeds, it could potentially have a damaging effect on the going operations of the British Sugar factory”.
The number of homes earmarked for sites was also raised as a concern during the consultation.
Commenting on the Moreton Hall strategic site, Anthony and Judith Peck said: “Development must be limited to 500 houses and kept within planned area limits.”
Councillor Trevor Beckwith, who represents the Moreton Hall estate, added in his objection: “The existing population [of Moreton Hall] is 8,000 and to suggest that over 500 additional dwellings is acceptable shows a build at all costs attitude irrespective of the impact on such a large community.”
English Heritage wanted the wording of the policy on the Moreton Hall strategic site to be revised to safeguard the views out from the town’s historic core to the landscape outside the town.
Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants (HEART), said he felt people living on the Howard estate had been completely ignored during previous consultations on the 900 homes between the estate and Fornham.
One of the comments in support of Bury St Edmunds Vision 2031 raised the need for affordable housing.
“There is simply not enough housing in the town to cope with current and future demand and without significant expansion of housing the town will become a no go area for the young and poorer members of society,” Stephen Boor said.
A borough council spokeswoman said: “Vision 2031 is designed to protect what we have now - our heritage and the quality of the environment - by coming up with practical and appropriate solutions to cope with anticipated growth.
“Without plans in place, land will be vulnerable to speculative development which we would not be able to challenge in law.”
The consultation responses will be submitted to the Secretary of State along with the final Vision 2031 draft and supporting documents.
It is anticipated a planning inspector will hold a public examination in early spring next year.
The council spokeswoman said if the inspector believed something needed more discussion, based on comments received during the final consultation, they would issue those concerned with an invitation to the hearing.