Mixed response to Vision 2031 plans

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FEARS on housing growth, the level of ‘urban sprawl’ and how infrastructure will be organised were among concerns raised at a meeting to discuss public feedback to the Vision 2013 proposals at St Edmundsbury Borough Council on Tuesday.

In excess of 1,100 people took part in 36 events around the area between March 1 and April 30, looking in detail at the proposals to build more than 5,000 homes in the Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill area.

Ian Poole, the borough council’s planning policy and specialist service manager, reported the council had received 442 responses to the consultation – although he was keen to highlight many of the letters received were from groups.

Mr Poole presented a mixed response from the consultations.

Key concerns raised included the level of housing growth, concerns about the location of that growth and the potential for encouraging ‘urban sprawl’, the need for affordable housing and how the council was going to provide suitable infrastructure, such as a water supply and transport links.

Many people also wished to see more detail in the council’s planning documents.

The concerns come as a petition, organised by Cllr Trevor Beckwith and Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer, reached 600 signatures. They have a target of 1,000.

Mr Poole identified the way for the process to move forward, creating a revised draft plan with help from area working parties and cabinet, to hold a full council in mid October to review the proposals and to consult the public again in November and December.

To view the consulation results online, visit www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk

Paper copies can be viewed at the council’s offices at West Suffolk House, Bury St Edmunds and Lower Downs Slade, Haverhill.