Residents of a Bury St Edmunds estate were left ‘disappointed’ and frustrated’ after a public meeting last night.
The Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants (HEART) invited Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, and Dave Watson, the county’s transport strategy manager, to speak about a traffic plan for the town’s proposed north west development.
Proposals for the site, which borders the Howard estate, Mildenhall Road, Fornham All Saints and Tut Hill, include building 900 homes and a relief road from Tut Hill to Mildenhall Road.
It is one of five developments being planned across Bury as part of St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Vision 2031 plan for future growth.
Opening the meeting, Cllr Newman said: “Improvements costing around £10 million are going to be needed in the town overall. That’s quite a significant amount of money really and we plan to use that in terms of bus prioritisation, improving capacity of junctions in the town centre and making alternatives to using private cars in the town centre more attractive.”
The borough’s core strategy, as approved by the Planning Inspector in December 2010, lists the priority order of transport as walking, cycling, public transport, commercial vehicles and then cars.
Mr Watson said the assumption was that the number of cars coming from the new estate could be reduced by 20 per cent, but he conceded that the infrastructure may not be in place for the first phasing of the build as homes would need road access first.
Derek hardy, chairman of the estate’s over 60’s club, said: “Surely it’s better to put the infrastructure in first. When you’re building a house you don’t put a bathroom in before the foundations are laid.”
Resident Jason Tate said: “If you say you’re going to build the infrastructure as you go, you’ll start a precedent of people using their cars. How are you going to stop that? The infrastructure will have to be in place first and without it, I’m sorry gentleman, but I think you’re deluded.”
Closing the meeting, HEART chairman Ernie Broom received applause for saying he was disappointed’ and ‘frustrated’ at still not having answers.
He said: “When are these roads are going in, where are these roads going, are you going to damage our middle school? These are the things we want answered, and when are we going to get answers?”