Call for second chance to air views

NEARLY 200 people locked out of a meeting over where new homes should be built in Felixstowe have signed a petition calling for another chance to air their views.

NEARLY 200 people locked out of a meeting over where new homes should be built in Felixstowe have signed a petition calling for another chance to air their views.

Former councillor Cherrie MacGregor gathered the signatures from the angry crowd outside Walton Community Hall as people protested over proposals to build in countryside on the edge of the town.

The hall was too small to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend.

Inside town councillors backed plans to use fields in Gulpher Road for 1,620 homes, and also to look at the alternative of a possible new settlement at Trimley St Martin.

Mrs MacGregor said the people who could not get into the hall were very disappointed.

They were deeply concerned about the development issue and wanted a chance to listen and speak.

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She said: “This was not a mob of irrational people.

“There was a GP, OBE holders, landowners, business people, shopkeepers, social workers, retired policemen, a customs officer, artists and people from other diverse jobs.

“Many of them were born in Felixstowe and are deeply concerned and despairing at the lack of democratic process of consultation, especially when the proposals would affect thousands of people and would be to the detriment of the environment and the whole peninsula.

“These people are the tip of a very big iceberg of concern and should not be ignored - they feel disenfranchised.”

Councillor Mike Ninnmey is asking the town council on Wednesday to hold another public meeting at a larger venue before the consultation period ends on April 11.

The meeting should allow residents to hear a presentation on where the homes could be built and why they are needed, and to give their views and ask questions.

“I am aware that the district planning officer said if enough people wish it, a further opportunity will be given to them to air their views when the proposals reach the district council,” he said.

“But it is likely our own residents will feel that the voices from Felixstowe and the Trimleys will be less important to those members of the council who represent other part of the district and outnumber those representing us.”

The town council said Walton Community Hall was the largest building it owns and attempts to move the meeting to a different venue fell through.

Where should new homes be built in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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