MP's call over housing proposal

A SUFFOLK MP today vowed to call a public meeting to answer residents concerns about a possible 700-home development in Needham Market.David Ruffley MP said the question and answer session would be vital for the interests of the town to be represented.

A SUFFOLK MP today vowed to call a public meeting to answer residents concerns about a possible 700-home development in Needham Market.

David Ruffley MP said the question and answer session would be vital for the interests of the town to be represented.

Mid Suffolk District Council is currently considering tentative bids to build on various sites in Needham Market over the next ten years.

Different developers have asked for eight areas of land to be zoned for homes, one for mixed housing and employment uses and one for business use in the town.

No decision will be made on the proposals until the Local Plan is published next summer, but it has already provoked concern in the town.

Mr Ruffley said: "I want a full open discussion about this, including everyone's views, and I want Mid Suffolk District Council to come along to explain what their thinking is.

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"I want everyone to have their say. This too important for it to be just shoved under the carpet."

He added he will be writing to Andrew Good, chief executive of Mid Suffolk council, and Paula Batchelor, town mayor, to arrange a date for the meeting early in the new year.

The land developers want earmarked for housing is on Stowmarket Road, at and off Barking Road, at Hill House Farm on the north western edge of the town. Also next to Barrett's Lane and Platten Close, land off Chalkeith Road, land at St Mary's Gardens and St Mary's Road and land at Grinstead Hill.

The council is also being asked to consider using land at Needham's chalk quarry for industrial and commercial use, with some housing. Land next to the Lion Barn Industrial Estate, next to the railway line, could also be zoned for employment and offices.

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