New homes may not be needed

WORRIED families in the twin Trimleys were told today that thousands of new homes will not be built in their villages – because they are not needed.There may be some small scale development in line with residents' wishes, but proposals put forward by wealthy landowners Trinity College will not form part of the new plan for the area.

WORRIED families in the twin Trimleys were told today that thousands of new homes will not be built in their villages - because they are not needed.

There may be some small scale development in line with residents' wishes, but proposals put forward by wealthy landowners Trinity College will not form part of the new plan for the area.

But campaigners are aware that the Cambridge university college will fight for its scheme at a public inquiry and vowed to keep up their battle against the project.

Meanwhile, planning officers have been asked to explore possible sites for 1,000 new homes at Felixstowe.


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Suffolk Coastal cabinet member for planning, Andy Smith said: "Both Trimleys are saying, in essence, that they would like a little development but nothing on the scale of the Trinity College plan.

"The figures for housing needed in the district up to 2021 mean that there is no way at all that anything on the scale of the Trinity College plan is going to happen in the foreseeable future because that's far bigger than the number of homes we need to provide."

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The college had suggested using all the land between the A14 and Ipswich-Felixstowe rail line for homes - some people reckoned as many as 3,000 - a new school, shops and businesses.

It claims the area is best suited on the peninsula to development and its vision was an opportunity to plan a cohesive settlement. It is currently revising the ideas but is likely to put them before the public inquiry into the local plan.

Suffolk Coastal's local plan task group was told the majority of future housing in the district would be built on the eastern fringe of Ipswich, and Felixstowe to help cater for port growth and its current housing shortage.

Group chairman Mr Smith said there was incontrovertible evidence that Felixstowe needed new homes and he would prefer a settlement large enough to support a school, shops, church - like Cavendish Park.

But 1,000 homes was unlikely to be enough to do this and so the development would need to be planned to fit in with existing services.

The group authorised officers to look at sites, but the most likely at present is the field beyond Treetops between Walton High Street and Candlet Road.

Trimley parish and district councillor Mary Dixon was pleased with the group's stance against the Trinity College plan, which she feared would lead to the Trimleys becoming a dormitory for Felixstowe and lose their rural character.

"If the scale of building envisaged went ahead Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary would no longer be villages in the countryside," she said.

"They are separate communities and very much separate from Felixstowe and see themselves as part of rural Suffolk. They do not want to become part of a huge urban area stretching towards Ipswich."

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

factfile:

n Draft regional housing targets suggest 10,100 more homes will be needed in Suffolk Coastal by 2021 - nearly 600 a year.

n Planning officers say 3,320 of these will be built on the edge of Ipswich - Kesgrave, Martlesham, Purdis Farm and Rushmere St Andrew.

n They calculate that exist planning consents, windfall sites (such as infill and unexpected plots in towns and villages), and brownfield development will account for all except 2,000 of the total needed.

n The Ipswich fringe has seen huge development in recent years. When completed Warren Heath will have 620 homes, Bixley Farm 1,050, and Grange Farm, Kesgrave, 3,150.

n Suffolk Coastal has received nearly 100 requests for parcels of land across the district to be developed for housing from landowners and councils.

n The new local plan will identify which of these are acceptable but the draft will not be ready until early next year and there will be a public inquiry in late summer/autumn 2005.

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