‘It’s a joke’ - plans for 420 homes in rural village set for “crunch” meeting
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:11 26 January 2020
A ‘crunch’ meeting is set to decide the future of a rural village as plans for 420 new homes go up for debate.
Planning officers have recommended that Mid Suffolk District Council's planning referrals committee should grant permission for two new housing estates in Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, at its meeting on Wednesday, January 29.
However, residents are fighting against the plans which they say will turn their village into a town.
The first application would see 210 homes built in land south west of Beyton Road by developer Bloor Homes.
They say the development is "located in a sustainable location with local facilities and transport links within a short stroll".
The second is for the same number of homes to be built on land to the east of Ixworth Road by Gladmans Developments.
The new estate aims to "create a sustainable and vibrant new neighbourhood for Thurston", according to its application.
The parish council says, however, that the new homes, alongside more than 800 which are currently under construction, will nearly double the size of Thurston, which they argue does not have the infrastructure to withstand the increase.
A spokeswoman for Thurston Parish Council said: "Thurston is a rural village which has grown organically over the years but still has a legacy road system consisting of narrow bridges, winding roads and junctions which are at or close to capacity.
"Thurston does not have a doctors surgery and only has infrequent bus services to neighbouring facilities.
"No significant investment in infrastructure has or will occur as a result of these developments despite a doubling in the size of the village."
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Their view is also mirrored by residents.
Jonathan Masters, who has lived in Thurston for three years, said: "It's a joke.
"There are already four construction sites in Thurston which are being built at the moment with around 750 homes being built.
"Thurston is like a bomb site at the moment. As a friend said to me, Thurston is like the film 1917, including the tank tracks.
"All of the home means that our village is going to be turned into a town.
"I bet that it will be the size of Needham Market, but they have the shops and the structure to manage that number. We don't.
"This meeting really is crunch time for the village. I don't think you'll find many, if any in the village who are happy with this."