Trimley house gain another's loss?

COMMUNITIES in the Suffolk Coastal district are being asked to make tough choices about six potential developments outlining where 10,200 new homes could be built.

COMMUNITIES in the Suffolk Coastal district are being asked to make tough choices about six potential developments outlining where 10,200 new homes could be built.

Villagers in the historic twin Trimleys are battling to prevent hundreds of new homes swamping fields, as they say it will rob the communities of their rural character.

But Trimleys' gain would be a potential loss for other areas - because if no homes are built in Trimley St Martin and St Mary, it would mean nearly 6,000 being built on the edge of Ipswich in places such as Kesgrave, Martlesham, Westerfield, Nacton, Foxhall, Brightwell, Purdis Farm.

Suffolk Coastal councillors has a favourite from the six options which involves “going for growth” in the Felixstowe area as a consultants' warning said the area needed around 1,700 homes.

Because of smaller households caused by families splitting up, children leaving home and people preferring to live alone - plus there not being enough affordable homes for youngsters to buy - the resort is faced with the prospect of a declining population.

With port development expected to generate up to 1,500 new jobs and the need to stop the decline in the town, councillors agreed to build 3,400 new homes in the next 15 years.

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But Government officials have now told them they cannot just put one option before the public and have to give residents a choice.

This will mean an eight month delay in putting the planning policy for the future in place.

Councillors have to find sites for 10,200 new homes in Suffolk Coastal by 2021. Of these, 3,620 would be new allocations while the rest would be on sites already with planning permission or land currently allocated for homes. One of the options being put to residents allows for 11,400 new homes but many of these would not be built until after 2021.

Head of planning services Philip Ridley said GO-EAST was happy with the work carried out by the council so far, but advised additional public consultation should take.

He said: “A more detailed assessment of the scale and distribution of housing development should also be included together with some indication as to the broad areas or considerations to be taken into account that would influence where that new development would take place.

“These options would be presented without prejudice. This will allow the public to comment on which options they prefer, other options they think should be considered and those that they would object to.”

The consultation on the options is set to take place in January and February, followed by consultation on preferred options in September and October.

The plan will then be submitted to government in early 2008, with a public inquiry in summer 2008.

WEBLINK:

www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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

ALLOCATION of new homes in Suffolk Coastal comes down to two locations - the eastern Ipswich fringe or the Felixstowe and Trimley area.

It is a question of how many to put in each place and there are advantages and disadvantages of developing both areas or not building at all.

In trying to juggle the figures, councillors and their planning officials have had to look at the whole of Suffolk Coastal and the various needs of its urban areas, market town and villages.

Putting all the homes on the east of Ipswich would concentrate all the homes in one location, close to jobs, shops and leisure facilities in the county's biggest town.

But this would fail to address the problems of Felixstowe, which needs urgent regeneration.

Also it would fail to deal with similar problems in Saxmundham and Leiston, distorting the housing market and leading to long term stagnation and decline, drawing away investment from these areas.

It is argued building 3,400 homes in the Felixstowe area, plus a similar amount near Ipswich, plus providing sites for 500 more in market towns, would be a better balance, helping to secure major investment and protect shops, businesses and services.

Option 1:

Ipswich eastern fringe - 5,920 new homes.

Felixstowe/Trimleys - 710 homes.

Rest of district - 3,570.

Option 2:

Ipswich eastern fringe - 3,200 new homes.

Felixstowe/Trimleys - 3,430 homes.

Rest of district - 3,570.

Option 3:

Ipswich eastern fringe - 4,110 new homes.

Felixstowe/Trimleys - 2,520 homes.

Rest of district - 3,570.

Option 4:

Ipswich eastern fringe - 3,200 new homes.

Felixstowe/Trimleys - 2,930 homes.

Rest of district - 4,070.

Option 5:

Ipswich eastern fringe - 3,200 new homes.

Felixstowe/Trimleys - 2,830 homes.

Rest of district - 4,170.

Option 6:

Ipswich eastern fringe - 3,800 new homes.

Felixstowe/Trimleys - 3,430 homes.

Rest of district - 4,170.

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