Felixstowe/Trimley: Campaigners given public inquiry date for homes debate

LEAVE our fields alone!

That will be the emphatic message from campaigners this autumn when they will have their day at a public inquiry – the chance to face a government inspector and tell him no to nearly 2,000 new homes.

Inspector Mike Moore is due to begin hearing evidence on October 23 with the inquiry set to last until November 15.

Communities on the peninsula, who are fighting proposals to use greenfield sites for around 1,700 new homes, will be represented at a number of the debates, with November 14 the key day when Felixstowe, Walton and the Trimleys will come under the microscope.

Suffolk Coastal says the new homes will be needed to cope with changing lifestyle patterns, and people moving into the area to take up new jobs.

But campaigners say it will mean fields having to be used for estates, and believe the number suggested is too many and will generate traffic problems as well as taking vital farmland and ruining the character of the area.

Parish councillor Ian Cowan has been appointed to represent both Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary councils, and STAG (Save Trimley Against Growth) at the examination in public into Suffolk Coastal’s new Local Development Framework, the blueprint for the future development of the district.

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Save Felixstowe Countryside will also be giving evidence on a range of issues.

Trimley St Mary Parish Council chairman Colin Jacobs said: “We understand that written evidence we have submitted will be given equal weight with oral evidence, but we still need to be represented to ensure this is seen to be a clear and fair process.”

The current council proposals are now for 7,900 homes across the district – based on the land supply available, and also including outstanding planning permissions and unexpected “windfall” projects.

Of the new homes, 1,760 will be built in Felixstowe and the Trimley villages, and 2,320 on the eastern edge of Ipswich. Some 1,826 of the 7,900 will be affordable homes.