More homes planned for mid Suffolk

MORE than 6,000 homes are being earmarked for mid Suffolk over the next 17 years as the district continues its rapid growth.The plans, which would see the largely rural area swelled by around 385 homes a year, are currently in their draft stage.

MORE than 6,000 homes are being earmarked for mid Suffolk over the next 17 years as the district continues its rapid growth.

The plans, which would see the largely rural area swelled by around 385 homes a year, are currently in their draft stage.

They have been made necessary by a number of factors, including new employment opportunities, a longer-living population and the area's growing attraction to outsiders.

While most of the development will focus on brownfield sites and towns where possible, some could eat into the area's green belt.


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This has prompted concern from Mid Suffolk Friends of the Earth.

Spokesman John Matthissen said: "I'm worried about green spaces being swallowed up.

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"The east is already one of the fastest growing regions, but is also one of the driest.

"We already have to transport water from around the country and this could stretch things further."

Alan Moore, head of regional planning at East of England Regional Assembly, reassured people any expansion would not take place overnight.

He said: "This plan will happen over a 20-year period and it's not going to be that horrific.

"We agreed with the district council on the number of houses that need to be built in the area and they will be carefully planned.

"More discussions will take place about where and when the homes will be built and no final decision on the number has yet been reached."

The draft regional plan, which includes 58,600 new homes for the entire county, will be presented to the government later this month. It covers the period from 2001 to 2021.

Alterations can then be added in the autumn, before a 12-week consultation period begins.

This will be followed by a public consultation period, before final approval of the plan is expected in 2006.

Space for the houses will be provided in the district's local plan, for which the first draft is due to be completed in the summer.

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