Views given over village's development
IDEAS for the future development of Trimley St Mary are being looked at by villagers keen to ensure their views are given top priority.Rather than have district planners drawing up plans and then asking for residents' opinions, parish councillors have decided to make the first move by putting together a village plan to show what they want.
By Richard Cornwell
IDEAS for the future development of Trimley St Mary are being looked at by villagers keen to ensure their views are given top priority.
Rather than have district planners drawing up plans and then asking for residents' opinions, parish councillors have decided to make the first move by putting together a village plan to show what they want.
It will identify land for possible new housing, services which are needed for the community, and various other projects.
One idea which is under discussion for inclusion is to earmark Great Street Farm stables as a possible site for redevelopment – perhaps as a craft centre or for small businesses built around a courtyard, with homes to help with the cost.
Discussions have already been held with Bidwells, representatives of the area's largest landowner Trinity College, over the future of some redundant buildings in the area, and also possible future uses for Great Street Farm in High Road.
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The project was launched after Trinity College asked the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) to draw up a report on the way the Felixstowe Peninsula should develop.
The plan was to create a vision for the area and for all the local councils and interested organisations to work together on the project.
It was also hoped it would lead to a consensus on what might be acceptable in the future ahead of the Local Plan review process.
However, after an initial meeting last summer between all the parties, Trimley St Mary Parish Council and Felixstowe Town Council decided they would like to do some research themselves first before joining in a larger venture.
Trinity College has now put the TCPA's work on a master plan "on hold" while the councils do their own work.
Parish clerk George Harlow told councillors he had been in touch with a number of villages which had prepared parish plans and now had far more detail of what was involved for the general purposes committee to consider.
"There is no specific timescale on this at the moment, but we need to consider whether we just want to produce a plan which sets out what we would like to see in planning terms or for the whole of village life," he said.
"We could look at additional facilities we might like, and then go to Suffolk Coastal and say this is what the village needs.
"But providing those facilities might be a different matter. There is nothing in the Rural White Paper to suggest how we might make things become possible."
The current planning policy for the village recognises the need to keep Trimley St Mary and Trimley St Martin separate communities, rather than letting them join up as one big village – and councillors would not want to change this.
It only allows for small groups of homes to be built on spare land or for infilling between houses, which was agreed because 700 homes were built on the Trinity Gardens estate in the past 20 years.
It also opposes any new access into the Port of Felixstowe through land leading to the river, and outlines the development of the Blofield 2000 business park.
But now councillors must decide if they would like to see more housing, how other spare land should be used, whether more sheltered accommodation is needed to cater for growing numbers of frail and elderly, if extra recreation facilities are required.