A blueprint for major development to the North East of Bury St Edmunds including 1,250 homes has passed the first stage towards being approved.
The masterplan for the land near Great Barton, drafted by developer Berkeley, was backed by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Sustainable Development Working Party and now needs to be approved by its cabinet and full council.
It is one of five strategic housing sites outlined in the authority’s Vision 2031 growth framework.
Papers to the working party note that ‘significant changes’ were made to the masterplan following a consultation by the developer with exhibitions attended by 139 people over three days and feedback response forms completed by 112 people.
The main concern among residents was the effect on trafffic, according to its consultation report, with one noting: “I am at a loss that the developers and council cannot see the impact that this development will have on Great Barton and surrounding area with regard to increased traffic congestion.”
Responding to the traffic concerns, Berkeley said they aim to reduce dependence on cars by providing a ‘good range of community facilities on site and good connections and access by public transport, cycling and walking to other facilities, schools and employment in neighbouring areas’.
They added that a transport assessment would support a planning application to identify ‘any resulting requirements for highway improvements on local and major roads’.
On the impact on villages, one resident said: “Feel village of Great Barton will gradually lose its identity.”
Berkeley said a buffer zone of open space, planting and retained agricultural land ‘will separate the development from Great Barton to protect its identity and ensure separation’.
Another resident issue related to ‘storm water drainage where in particular in the area adjacent to the railway eye witness reports suggest there is a significant risk of flooding’.
Berkeley said the development ‘will be designed and constructed so as not to increase flood risk to the existing town or be at risk of flooding itself’.
As part of the development layout, surface water run off and flood storage have been planned.