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Kesgrave Bell Lane homes would create 18,000 traffic movements a day

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:15 06 February 2018

The land at Bell Lane, Kesgrave, which is the subject of negotiations to assemble a site capable of taking around 1,000 homes. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The land at Bell Lane, Kesgrave, which is the subject of negotiations to assemble a site capable of taking around 1,000 homes. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Fresh questions have been raised over plans to develop homes off Bell Lane and Foxhall Road in Kesgrave, as forecasts suggest even a small development could generate 18,000 traffic movements a day.

Councillors fear traffic movements could get worse if a new development goes ahead. Stock image of traffic on Bell Lane.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCouncillors fear traffic movements could get worse if a new development goes ahead. Stock image of traffic on Bell Lane. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Following news last month that Turnberry – a consultancy firm on behalf of landowners Grainger – had begun early talks over the potential to build 1,300 homes on the site, the firm gave an update at last night’s Kesgrave Town Council planning committee.

In it, representatives from the firm said it planned to have a more thorough conversation over what infrastructure developments the town would want to see, with a new bus route, GP surgery and primary school among some of the early ideas.

Plans to develop a civic centre around the existing aviation museum at the former US radio base are also on the cards.

A planning appeal from Persimmon Homes on a separate application to build 300 homes is set to take place in the coming weeks.

But councillors raised fresh concerns over the ability of Bell Lane and Foxhall Road to accommodate additional traffic.

Studies for potential traffic at three main junctions to the land if the Persimmon application goes ahead suggests there could be around 18,000 traffic movements a day in the area – on roads which have remained largely unchanged since Kesgrave was a village of 300 homes.

That figure is set to be significantly higher if a formal planning bid for 1,300 homes plus additional services is built.

Neal Beecroft-Smith, town councillor said: “That is a huge number of traffic movements through a small lane at a site that at peak times is already congested.

“With that number of traffic movements through the whole day I cannot see how you can promote this as being viable to help and enhance the lives of people in Kesgrave.”

Work on an updated neighbourhood plan is ongoing, which is set to determine whether the land is earmarked as development space.

Chris Pattison from Turnberry said: “I understand the issues and we would have to construct a traffic model to see whether it is viable or not.

“One of the improvements is the Foxhall Road roundabout [at the Bell Lane junction] which is a superior solution to what Persimmon have at the moment.”

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