Voters to get their say on development
VILLAGERS in Trimley St Mary are to be offered the chance to vote on whether they want thousands of homes built on their doorsteps.Parish councillors have agreed that if residents want it, then a referendum will be held to let them have a say on the controversial vision for the future of the village put forward by landowners Trinity College, Cambridge.
VILLAGERS in Trimley St Mary are to be offered the chance to vote on whether they want thousands of homes built on their doorsteps.
Parish councillors have agreed that if residents want it, then a referendum will be held to let them have a say on the controversial vision for the future of the village put forward by landowners Trinity College, Cambridge.
Chairman Richard Kerry said the council was determined to have a majority view from the public on the proposals before deciding whether to alter its own stance on the future development of the community.
A referendum was one way this could be achieved – as long as a majority go to the polls to vote.
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"We think we know what the answer will be, but need to hear it from the residents – this is the biggest issue the village has ever had and it is very important that the parish council represents its view," said Mr Kerry.
Parish clerk Lorraine Dickson said there were 2,909 adults on the electoral roll in Trimley St Mary and only 184 letters had been received, not all of those from people in the village. Around 568 had signed a petition, but some of these may also have sent letters. Only two letters were in favour of the vision plan.
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Mr Kerry said a public meeting would be held at Trimley St Mary primary school on Monday October 13 at 7pm when Trinity's senior bursar Dr Jeremy Fairbrother and Tim Collins, partner in Bidwells, acting as agents for the college, had been invited to attend to answer questions.
There would then be an extraordinary parish meeting on October 31 at the Welcome Hall for the parish council to hear residents' views.
This meeting would be asked if it wanted a referendum. Talks had already been held with Suffolk Coastal to discuss the preparations for a vote.
"We would need to phrase the question very carefully in order to ensure it provided us with the information that would enable us to make a proper decision on our submission about the plans," said Mr Kerry.
Outrage has greeted Trinity College's plans to use all the fields and open space between the A14 and Felixstowe-Ipswich railway line used for greens and village centres, an industrial area and as many as 3,000 new homes.
Bidwells have said that they want to hear all views on the proposals and say the ideas are not detailed at this stage and not set in stone.
Both parish councils would like to see a small amount of building – but not more than a few dozen homes for first-time buyers and the elderly.
n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk