A public inquiry into a blueprint for growth including 5,900 new homes across the Bury St Edmunds area has been launched today.
Independent planning inspector Roger Clews opened the examination to determine whether St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Vision 2031 framework is legally compliant and sound.
The hearing, which launched at the Apex today, will look at the five strategic sites earmarked for housing around the town as well as the impact on travel, infrastructure and the environment.
At the opening, Ian Poole, place shaping manager for the council, said the Vision documents represent ‘holistic, place focused plans to shape and manage the ongoing pressures for change, both now and in future years’.
He said that Vision fully meets the test of soundness, which is defined as being positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national planning policy.
Mr Poole said: “Those represented at the hearings over the next three weeks represent the groups or individuals who probably feel we have not succeeded in this area but the divergent views that you will hear demonstrate amply that it is simply not possible to agree with everyone or that many of the strategic decisions have already been made.”
He added that the council has ‘already proposed a number of modifications to the Vision documents’.
A number of groups and individuals are expected to voice their concerns about the blueprint during the inquiry including the Bury St Edmunds Water Meadows Group, who are calling for the ‘Leg of Mutton’ field to be ‘fully protected from development’.
In his opening address, Mr Clews said he did not have to find the plans to be perfect ‘as long as they are sound’.
The examination will be held over eight days until February 12.
Once completed, the inspector will report his findings back to St Edmundsbury, which has to consult on any changes he requires.
For details and agendas visit St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s website