Council homes exhibition prompts more complaints from Great Blakenham residents

Drop-in event for residents of Great Blakenham to find out more about new council homes proposed

Drop-in event for residents of Great Blakenham to find out more about new council homes proposed - Credit: Lucy taylor

The tide of opposition to new council homes in Great Blakenham shows no sign of stopping.

Mid Suffolk District Council staff faced a catalogue of complaints at an exhibition to show what the 23 homes could look like on Friday.

Chief executive Charlie Adan admitted the authority needed to communicate better with the community.

Villagers have a long list of criticisms – from a lack of infrastructure in the village, to feeling helpless to prevent or influence the development.

Kim Coe, spokeswoman for an opposition group, said: “It’s as disappointing as we thought it would be; where do you start?

“We are trying our best to talk to Mid Suffolk but they are not listening to us. There’s been no communication between residents up until now – everybody has been sitting in their front rooms alone but now realise that other people feel the same and we are getting together.”

In a letter to the East Anglian Daily Times last week, Mid Suffolk leader, Derrick Haley, said an “anticipated £2.1millon” in infrastructure money would be coming to the village, so long as a separate homes application is approved.

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That assurance came after Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter gave residents his “full support” and claimed they have “every reason” to feel aggrieved over the lack of facilities.

Mrs Adan said they “needed to get better” at communication when asked if the proposal’s timetable could have been improved.

Many residents say they only found out about the proposals last month – with a planning application due in a matter of weeks.

Mrs Adan said: “All concerns are absolutely valid concerns that we need to deal with; hopefully we have allayed some of those concerns here. It’s an important development for us – the first time we are going to be building potentially new affordable council homes for decades.”

Mid Suffolk has said local residents would be given priority to rent the homes first.

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