Councillors abandon campaigning village

CAMPAIGNERS have blasted councillors who withdrew their objection to a plan for a huge warehouse – described as the biggest building this side of the M1 motorway – in their village.

CAMPAIGNERS have blasted councillors who withdrew their objection to a plan for a huge warehouse – described as the biggest building this side of the M1 motorway – in their village.

The move means Swedish furniture giant is one step closer to getting permission to build the distribution centre in Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds.

But campaigners were furious at what they felt was the "rape of the countryside", claimed their views had been steamrollered and said they regarded a public consultation process as a "sop".

Suffolk County Council had decided to object to the plan to build the Ikea warehouse at the former wartime airfield at Shepherd's Grove.


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Its development control sub-committee wanted to see better provision for traffic management along the A143 and in the villages of Stanton and Great Barton before it could approve the scheme.

But that objection has now been lifted after Ikea agreed to pay for £250,000 of safety work. St Edmundsbury Borough Council will make the final decision on the planning application.

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Fred Rutherford, chairman of the A143 Action Group, said: "We were invited to comment and given lots of propaganda, but when it came to it, it was a sop – our objections were steamrollered. The mood in the village is one of total uproar and anger that we have been silenced.

"There were originally a number of conditions attached to the application, but every one of those has been sidelined.

"It seems their green travel policy is optional. If there had been the infrastructure to support it, we could have agreed to it, but anything they did have – such as provision for a bypass – has been stripped away, £250,000 worth of work is nothing. This is the rape of the countryside."

The application is expected to come before its development control committee in the new year.

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