Fight for green space

CAMPAIGNERS fighting the potential development of an area of unspoilt land have been given the full backing of a local MP.David Ruffley MP has added his support to a petition against the inclusion of a site adjoining Platten Close, Needham Market, in the Local Plan.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting the potential development of an area of unspoilt land have been given the full backing of a local MP.

David Ruffley MP has added his support to a petition against the inclusion of a site adjoining Platten Close, Needham Market, in the Local Plan.

If Mid Suffolk district councillors highlight the land for possible development now, it will face the threat of being built on in the coming years.

Mr Ruffley said: "I vigorously oppose the concreting over of Needham Market's greenfields and that is why I support the petition.


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"Greenfields near residents' homes should be given reasonable protection and I am fully supportive of what my constituents are saying."

The site concerned is part of Crowley Park and is home to an array of wildlife including deer, nightingales and a fishing lake.

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Mr Ruffley has sent a letter of objection and copy of the 150-signature petition to the district council's chief executive Andrew Good.

The council is currently considering applications for 11 sites that could make it into the plan. Only one is a previously developed brownfield site – the old lime quarry.

David Sparks, senior planning policy officer, said: "The council would obviously prefer not to develop greenfield sites but we have a responsibility to provide housing in the district and must consider all the bids very carefully.

"We must make it clear though no decisions have been made yet."

Needham Market town council says it is against any future development but suggest the Platten Close site would be better suited than others.

Brian Crascall, who led the petition, said: "I could have the signatures of almost everyone in this town if necessary but believe the 150 we have is enough to go on.

"Crowley Park use to be a huge area which was beautiful to visit and full of wildlife and I can't see why anyone would want to destroy what's left.

"There are other areas in this town which would be far more suitable for housing."

n Do you think the site should be protected? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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