Warning to village expansion protesters

PLACARD-waving protesters have been told to stay away from an exhibition this weekend on the proposals to treble the size of the Trimley villages.Parish councillors say the event is not the time for demonstrations against the plans – and is an informal fact-finding session for people to see what is proposed, raise concerns and ask questions.

PLACARD-waving protesters have been told to stay away from an exhibition this weekend on the proposals to treble the size of the Trimley villages.

Parish councillors say the event is not the time for demonstrations against the plans – and is an informal fact-finding session for people to see what is proposed, raise concerns and ask questions.

Bidwells, agents for landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, are staging the meeting at the Welcome Hall, High Road, Trimley St Mary, on Saturday between 10am and 12noon.

Bidwells partner Tim Collins will lead a team who will explain the ideas – which envisage using all the fields and open space between the A14 and Felixstowe-Ipswich railway line for up to 3,000 homes, greens and village centres, and industrial area – and answer questions about the project.

Copies of the parish council's current views on the future of the village will also be displayed.

Councillors have stressed that the event is being organised by Bidwells, though councillors will be present, listening to views to gauge residents' opinions so that in due course they can represent the village's feelings accurately and effectively.

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Council chairman Richard Kerry said there would be forms available on which people could express their views, and the council welcomed letters on the plans.

"We want to hear people's views because as councillors we want to represent the view of the village – the majority view of the people who live here," he said.

"If we only get 1,000 people comment, that will clearly not be the majority view of the village and we cannot guess what the others are thinking.

"Then, as a council, we shall sit down and discuss the Trinity College framework document, and decide if there is a need or not to alter our own submission.

"The meeting on Saturday may be the first chance for many people to actually see the plans for themselves. It is a chance for them to find out what is actually being put forward, rather than what they may have heard from others.

"We are hoping that people will take a constructive view, ask questions and look seriously at the ideas presented."

When a similar display of the plans was held in Trimley St Martin, the event was packed with people stampeding the hall and expecting a public meeting. Special arrangements are being made this time to ensure the venue is not overcrowded.

Councillor Steven Squirrell said: "This meeting is not the place for placards and banners – we want people to be sensible and to come and ask questions, find out information, and discuss."

Bidwells say the plans are not final or detailed yet – and want to hear which pieces people like or dislike, concerns, or ideas for changes to the proposals.

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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