Concerns over council’s ‘vision’ for town’s future

RESIDENTS fear plans for hundreds of new homes will blight a Bury St Edmunds estate with excess traffic and overdevelopment.

They voiced their concerns over the move to build about 500 homes in Moreton Hall, which is part of St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s far reaching Vision 2031.

The authority is consulting on the proposals to develop thousands of homes and new services in Bury and the surrounding area in the next 20 years – with the first public drop in session held at Moreton Hall Community Centre on Monday.

At the event, Mike Bacon, chairman of the Moreton Hall Resident’s Association, said there were a ‘series of infrastructure shortfalls’ including traffic bottlenecks which need to be addressed before the homes are built.

He also questioned whether facilities had the capacity to deal with the growing areas and ageing population.

Mr Bacon said: “I’m very worried this is being pushed forward in advance of having the answers from last year’s census. What we really want to see is some serious discussion and joined up consideration of the issues.”

Joyce Kirk, 81, of Heldhaw Road, said: “Traffic is my concern as we cannot cope now.”

Another resident Roy Eastwood, 73, felt that ‘the pressure should have been put on the villages to take a mimimum of 100 homes each’ to alleviate the situation in Bury.

Borough and county councillor Trevor Beckwith added: “The people here feel betrayed by everything that’s gone on. We’ve had 35 years of development. We’ve done our share of housing. The vast majority of people in Moreton Hall feel this has been put on them.”

A council spokeswoman confirmed the main area of concern by residents was the impact of extra traffic.

She said: “Officers explained that any development must be described in detail through the masterplan and planning application stages. At each stage, the developers must assess the impact of their plans and ensure that measures are in place to address the impacts. The principle laid out in the Core Strategy is that infrastructure must be in place before development is occupied.”

The association will hold a meeting at Moreton Hall Community Centre on Monday at 7.30pm when residents can hear from the council and developers about the plans.