Second meeting planned over 3,400 homes

COMMUNITY leaders face a full day of ploughing through a lengthy document to decide how many new homes should be provided in the next 15 years - and where they should be built.

SUFFOLK COASTAL: Community leaders face a full day of ploughing through a lengthy document to decide how many new homes should be provided in the next 15 years - and where they should be built.

There is considerable opposition to the plans, which include 2,000 extra homes at BT's Adastral Park site at Martlesham Heath, and 1,400 in Felixstowe and the Trimley villages.

After three hours' debate, councillors only managed to get through 15 pages of a 150-page report on the issue on their first go, and were forced to adjourn the meeting last week with no decisions having been made.

The scrutiny committee will reconvene on February 1, at Trinity Park, at 10am.

A Suffolk Coastal spokesman said the need for another meeting would not delay final decisions on the homes, with councillors due to come to a conclusion at a special cabinet meeting next month after more than two years of debate.

District councillor Mike Ninnmey said: “More and more councillors are coming forward and questioning where these houses are to be built. The big concern is that rural communities are being excluded from having extra housing.

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“If the average household number continues to decrease it will mean village populations will get smaller and it will leave them in a very bad way with very few facilities.”

Ian Cowan, of Save Trimley Against Growth, said: “It is heartening that councillors have at long last seen through the one sided arguments in favour of large scale housebuilding and are bravely speaking out according to their consciences rather that party policies.”

And campaign group No Adastral New Town (NANT) said they would continue their opposition to the plans and on their website call on supporters not to suffer “battle fatigue”.

It adds: “We need to continue to make clear the level of opposition, and that there are alternatives.”

Suffolk Coastal officers says future housing must be sustainable and it will be better to build large groups of houses close to the major urban centres rather than in places which will mean more travel to work, leisure, shops and other needs.