Hundreds storm Trimley homes meeting

VILLAGERS vented their anger and cured their curiosity, over what some describe as "the rape of the Trimleys" – proposals to treble the size of the twin communities.

By Richard Cornwell

VILLAGERS vented their anger and cured their curiosity, over what some describe as "the rape of the Trimleys" – proposals to treble the size of the twin communities.

As the doors opened to a two-hour exhibition of the plans, organisers were swamped as a near-stampede of 250 people poured into the hall - with another 100 outside unable to get in.

A number had misunderstood the publicity for the event on Saturday, believing they should be allowed to 'have their say' while the morning was being provided to give people a chance to see the ideas, ask questions and get information.

The event at the Memorial Hall, Trimley St Martin, was staged by Bidwells, agents for landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, which has submitted the vision for the future of the villages.

As well as the initial flood, there was a steady flow of visitors throughout, with Bidwells staff still answering questions after the event should have closed.

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Trimley St Martin Parish Council chairman Nigel Smith said people clearly wanted an opportunity to air their views and discuss the plans and a public meeting was now being planned. This was likely to take place at the Memorial Hall on September 16.

"People are very passionate and definitely believe very strongly in what they believe and how they feel about their village," said Mr Smith.

"The aim of this morning was to give people a chance to see the plans and find out more about them, and for many it would have been the first time they had seen them rather than relying on hearsay.

"We want people to make their minds up and fill in the forms with their views so the parish council can see how people feel. We hope there will be a lot of reaction and then we will have the public meeting so it can be discussed."

The council has already drawn up its view for the future, envisaging a small amount of affordable new homes to help young people stay in the village.

It has not yet discussed the Trinity College vision and says it wants to see the public reaction first in order to represent the village's views.

Tim Collins, partner with Bidwells, and colleagues, spoke at length with many at the exhibition, explaining the reasons for the proposals, answering fears and concerns, and was pleased with the constructive debate.

He said the plans were not final and not as detailed at this stage as some people wanted, and the aim had been to hear which pieces people liked or disliked, concerns, or ideas for changes to the proposals.

The plans envisage using all the fields and open space between the A14 and Felixstowe-Ipswich railway line for development, creating greens and village centres, industrial area and potentially up to 3,000 new homes.

n A similar meeting will be held at the Welcome Hall, High Road, Trimley St Mary, on September 6, from 10am-noon.

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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