Campaigners fighting controversial plans for a ‘ghost’ junction in Ixworth have welcomed a developer’s alternative proposal to extend a roundabout.
A plan for the right hand turning on the A1088 to provide access to land earmarked for upto 475 new homes was rejected by St Edmundsbury Borough Council last October due to safety concerns.
Developer Persimmon Homes appealed the decision and in December submitted a further application for the junction with extra details addressing the reasons for refusal.
In addition, it submitted plans last month to add an extra access on the existing four arm A143/A1088 roundabout to serve the development. However, it still believes the ghost island junction is a ‘much safer solution’.
The plan for a five arm roundabout has been welcomed by campaigners, who oppose the ghost junction, which is where the right hand turn lane is guarded by hatched markings rather than a physical raised island.
Resident Ben Lord said: “We’re delighted the developer has listened to what we as a campaign have been calling for because a five arm roundabout is the most safest and common sense approach for access onto the development site.” He said there was a fatal collision at a similar junction further up the road about 13 years ago and Ixworth has a five arm roundabout at the southern end of the bypass ‘where there have been no serious incidents reported’.
A previous application in 2014 for a five arm A143/1088 roundabout was refused following a recommendation by Suffolk County Council Highways due to safety concerns.
Martin Davidson, land director for Persimmon Homes Anglia, said St Edmundsbury Borough Council refused its junction application in October ‘contrary to officer and county council advice’.
He said they are awaiting the outcome of their appeal but had submitted the two further applications.
Mr Davidson added: “However, throughout all discussions it has been, and remains, the view of our consultants and the county highway department that the right turn ghost island is a much safer solution and that the proposed roundabout, despite the application being made, may fail to achieve national safety standards. Resolution of this issue continues to delay the delivery of this allocated site with much-needed housing.”