Eight-week wait for protesters

WITHIN the next eight weeks campaigners fighting moves to turn their community into a "new town" should discover just how many homes must be built in the area.

WITHIN the next eight weeks campaigners fighting moves to turn their community into a "new town" should discover just how many homes must be built in the area.

Residents were told at a public meeting that government was expected to announce the housing allocation figures for Suffolk Coastal in February or March.

Maddy Russell, chairman of Save Trimley Against Growth (STAG), said the figures were key to the campaign to stop Trinity College, Cambridge, developing its landholdings in the twin villages.

Once the district knows the total allocation of housing it has to provide for the future in its local plan, it will then decide how many will be built in which towns and villages and on what sites.

"From the conversations I have had with officers at Suffolk Coastal, they don't anticipate the number being huge – the district already has a large number of planning applications which have already been approved and are not yet built," she said.

The government would most likely be insisting that brownfield sites are used rather than greenfield land, and both Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary had a "chronic shortage" of brownfield sites and nowhere near enough for the scale of development Trinity College wants.

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The wealthy Cambridge university owns 3,400 acres on the Felixstowe peninsula and has drawn up plans which could see hundreds – some say possibly up to 3,000 new homes – built in the next 20 years.

It would mean virtually every spare field and piece of open space between the A14 and the Ipswich-Felixstowe railway line in the villages being developed for housing.

Trinity College has said it is looking afresh at its proposal following public consultation but has not announced any changes yet.

The meeting at the Memorial Hall was told that STAG is drawing up an alternative vision for the future of the villages and currently had groups researching a number of issues.

The district council will publish its draft local plan in late summer and STAG will then have six weeks to respond to all the points made. About six to nine months after that there is likely to be a public inquiry and the group will have to appear to put its points.

Both parish councils are against the college's proposals, though they would support modest development – especially affordable homes to prevent young people moving away from the villages, and sheltered homes for the elderly.

n Do you have a vision for the future of the Trimleys? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINKS: www.savetrimley.co.uk

www.trimley-vision.co.uk

www.trimley-st-martin.org.uk

www.trimley-st-mary.org.uk

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