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Kesgrave people urged to have their say on development before “town as we know it is lost”

PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 February 2018

The Long Strops car park in Kesgrave closed, with a planning inquiry over Persimmon's bid to build 300 homes set to take place in 2018. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Long Strops car park in Kesgrave closed, with a planning inquiry over Persimmon's bid to build 300 homes set to take place in 2018. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Councillors have made an impassioned plea to people in Kesgrave to have their say on the future of the town, before it is “lost” and “decided by those who don’t live in Kesgrave”.

Bell Lane, Kesgrave. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Bell Lane, Kesgrave. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Questionnaires have been distributed to homes in Kesgrave asking what services are used and what else is needed in the town, which will be analysed as part of a new neighbourhood plan.

With a public inquiry due over the coming months into plans to build 300 homes off Longstrops, as well as potential for 1,300 homes off Bell Lane and 2,000 for Adastral Park, Kesgrave Town Council has said the impact on the town will be significant.

A town council spokeswoman said: “A neighbourhood plan is a legal document, which must be taken into account by the planners and planning committee at Suffolk Coastal District Council for all new houses proposed in Kesgrave.

“A neighbourhood plan means that as a town, we will have more of an official ‘say’ and more control legally in what development happens in Kesgrave.”

She added: “Without a neighbourhood plan the size and nature of development in our town will be decided by those who don’t live in Kesgrave.

“Please help us to help you, before our town as we know it, is lost.”

Residents are being sought to spare an hour a month to join a volunteer group established to assist with shaping the plan, including services and activities needed, as well as housing.

Landowners behind a bid to create 1,300 homes off Bell Lane have also called for residents to have their say, as it voices an intention to provide infrastructure and services the town needs.

The bid, which is still being formulated, aims to safeguard the Suffolk Aviation Heritage Museum, while developing a civic space around it alongside health and school provision.

A spokesman from landowners Grainger said: “As a major landowner in the area, Grainger is participating in this review, but wants to share the long term vision of the local plan from the perspective of building communities and not just finding land for houses.

“We are trying to understand what community infrastructure might help integrate any new development at Kesgrave with the existing community.”

He added: “Whilst we appreciate the challenges new growth often presents to communities, some growth will inevitably come to the wider area and we would encourage the community to participate in shaping a positive outcome and help safeguard the museum.”

To share views on the 1,300 homes, email consultants Turnberry here and to help with the neighbourhood plan call the town council on 01473 625179 or email townclerk@kesgravetowncouncil.org.uk.

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