Homes proposal apathy concern

COMMUNITY leaders were left scratching their heads today after less than 15 villagers turned up to air their views on controversial new homes proposals.

COMMUNITY leaders were left scratching their heads today after less than 15 villagers turned up to air their views on controversial new homes proposals.

Parish councillors in Trimley St Mary had been stung by criticism over their handling of the development moves by landowners Trinity College.

Now they have to decide whether the poor response was apathy, or an indication residents are happy with the way the council is dealing with the issue.

It could also be most villagers now feel unaffected as Trinity has revised its vision, cutting the number of homes for the village and concentrating its building plans in neighbouring Trimley St Martin.

Councillors though had been hoping for some reaction from the public, and also wanted to know if people would be interested in helping to put together a "parish plan" to safeguard the village from development and identify its future needs.

Parish council chairman Richard Kerry told the annual parish meeting there had been a campaign of Chinese whispers in the village suggesting the council did not care about the proposals put forward by Trinity College and was not keeping people informed.

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He said: "These accusations could not be further from the truth - unfortunately the people making these comments don't come to our meetings, like this one tonight, to find out what we are doing and what is happening."

The council has held public meetings and used its website to keep everyone up to date.

But dealing with major housing issues was a long haul and the latest information from Suffolk Coastal council was that it could be 2008 before a final decision is made on where new homes will be built in the Felixstowe area.

Mr Kerry said: "There are a number of plans in the melting pot and Trimley is just one of them - no decisions have been taken yet.

"We understand around 400 homes may need to be built in the Haven Gateway area, though it could be more.

"That is not quite as many as we had first feared. They have got to go somewhere and it is up to us to make sure it is not here."

The council has already stated it is firmly against massive development in the village.

Trinity College's revised plans keep the two communities separate but feature up to 1,500 homes, plus a school and supermarket.

Suffolk Coastal says it has received the proposals - and also a large number from other landowners - but has not analysed them yet as it has been waiting for final figures on the number of new homes which will be required.

By the end of the year, it will publish an options report detailing every site where developers want to build homes over the next 16 years.

WEBLINKS: www.savetrimely.co.uk

www.trimley-st-mary.org.uk

www.trimley-st-martin.org.uk

www.trimley-vision.co.uk

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