More criticism of Shotley development

PROVIDING more questions than answers is how a meeting to discuss proposals over the former HMS Ganges site was summed up today.Moves to build more than 300 homes came under heavy fire when representatives of the ten parish councils on the Shotley peninsula met at Freston village hall to air their concerns with Babergh's planners.

PROVIDING more questions than answers is how a meeting to discuss proposals over the former HMS Ganges site was summed up today.

Moves to build more than 300 homes came under heavy fire when representatives of the ten parish councils on the Shotley peninsula met at Freston village hall to air their concerns with Babergh's planners.

Yet despite the volume of traffic being the key issue for residents living on the B1456 no traffic expert from Suffolk County Council could attend.

According to Laurie Mayer, former BBC newsreader and chairman of Woolverstone residents' association, no one was available because of a public meeting to discuss the SnOasis project.

Mr Mayer said: "Far more questions than answers is how I would sum up the meeting.

"Woolverstone representatives questioned the "credibility and reliability" of the developer, Haylink's, traffic count and projected increases.

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"We claimed it was wrong to classify the B1456 as an "urban" road and totally inappropriate to use traffic flows in Wigan and Barnsley as a comparison for what might be generated in rural Woolverstone.

"We don't have motorways. We say the traffic counts are flawed and inaccurate and do not reflect the actual flow."

Babergh's director of planning Richard Watson and Martin Price, planning officer for East Suffolk, said all these questions would be 'examined very carefully.'" 

Mr Mayer said planners had reaffirmed their wish to make a decision before Christmas and confirmed that either way the issue would have to be referred to the Secretary of State for the Environment.

My Mayer added: " If Babergh is minded "not to refuse" it has to go to Secretary of State because the application is not part of the local development plan.

"If Babergh is minded to refuse then the developer would almost certainly appeal and again the matter would be referred to Secretary of State. So a yes or no could well lead to a public inquiry which suits us."

Mr Mayer said planners stated they would look into each of the parishes' concerns and explained the impact could be mitigated by various planning gains. The developers would be expected to put money into improving bus and ferry services, affordable housing, extra school places, health provision, community policing.

N What is your view on the proposals for the former HMS Ganges site and their ramifications? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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