Million could be spent on safer road

MILLIONS of pounds could be spent on making Suffolk's deadly Haughley bends safer - if a major housing development near Stowmarket goes ahead.

EXCLUSIVE

By MARK BULSTRODE, mid Suffolk reporter

mark.bulstrode@eveningstar.co.uk>

MILLIONS of pounds could be spent on making Suffolk's deadly Haughley bends safer - if a major housing development near Stowmarket goes ahead.

George Wimpey UK, who want to build between 750 and 1,000 homes in Onehouse, today revealed the safety work could come as part of the package.

Tom Curtin, a spokesman for the company, said: "This would be one of the key benefits of the scheme but anything we did would obviously have to be done in conjunction with the Highways Agency.

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"The Haughley bends have been identified as needing safety work and if the project goes ahead there would certainly be improvements there."

He added an additional exit would have to be linked to the A14 to serve the development, but the exact location of this has not been determined.

The plans for the new homes are currently in their early stages but they have already provoked concern in affected areas.

One of the biggest fears among villagers is that Onehouse would be swamped by the development, becoming a suburb of Stowmarket and losing its identity.

But Mr Curtin today moved to allay these fears, saying a "strategic gap" would be imposed between the village and Stowmarket.

He said: "We've listened very carefully to the concerns expressed and are very keen to ensure there's a strategic gap to make sure the village retains its identity.

"We want to continue the consultation with the village and if anything does go ahead, we're keen it goes ahead in partnership with them. We're very keen to see what people think and for people to have their say."

Stephen Andrews, local plan manager of Mid Suffolk District Council, stressed nothing has been decided about whether the development will happen at this stage.

He said: "Until we publish our local plan this is still very much in the pot. The local plan is likely to come out in June or July next year."

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