Police called as residents protest

POLICE were called to keep the peace while residents protested as contractors tried to create an entrance into a parcel of land which might be suitable for housing.

By Richard Cornwell

POLICE were called to keep the peace while residents protested as contractors tried to create an entrance into a parcel of land which might be suitable for housing.

Householders fear the development at the end of Alley Road in Kirton will ruin the peaceful street, cause danger for walkers using a leafy public footpath and also children going in and out of the recreation ground play area.

They said there was not a large enough gap to get onto the land, once part of the garden of a bungalow in Guston Gardens.

But contractors argued they were entitled to gain access to the land, which at this stage does not have permission for homes, just as anyone else in the road could access their driveways.

Residents stood in the way and put a vehicle in the road to prevent the bulldozer working.

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Parish councillor Susan Harvey said: “If the contractors can produce the licence showing they have permission to carry out this work then we will stand aside.

“The people who want to develop the land need to be able to show the planning authority they have access to this site to improve their case for homes on it.

“But this will ruin Alley Road, which is a very peaceful road, and there are serious concerns over safety with a public right of way next to the site and the entrance to the playing field where children hurtle in and out on their bikes and extra traffic could create real danger.

“We believe they need three metres to create a proper access and there is not enough room.

“This needs to be done in the proper way - the parish council, residents and rights of way people should be allowed to give their views and then a decision be made.”

Michael and Ann Perks, and their son James, said the access would be right up against their property entrance and be very dangerous with no visibility for drivers.

Mrs Perk who has lived there for 30 years said: “This is going to desecrate this area - it is a single track road and not suitable for more traffic.”

Contractors said they had been employed simply to create access to an owner's land and wanted to do it as carefully as possible.

Three police officers were called to the scene of the dispute.

Officers said they were there to keep the peace but had been told by the highways department at the county council no work could take place next to the public highway without permission and the contractors needed to produce the paperwork.

Do you think homes should be built on the site? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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