More than 300 objections received in final round of Vision 2031 consultation

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Hundreds of residents have objected to a controversial council blueprint to build 5,900 homes across Bury St Edmunds.

Just over 300 people said they were against the plans during the final round of consultation for St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Vision 2031 document, which sets out a framework for growth over the next 20 years.

Eighty four people supported the plans, which would see 900 homes built between the Howard Estate and Fornham All Saints, 500 at Moreton Hall, 1,250 between Bury and Great Barton, 450 at Westley and 1,250 to the south east of the town near Rougham.

On Monday councillors will vote on whether to send the plans to the Secretary of State by the end of November for formal examination by an Independent Planning Inspector.

Among those who who objected was Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants. He said: “I feel that we were completely ignored when public consultations were carried out on the proposed development of some 900 houses to be built on North West - Fornham.

Feel that the consultations have not been carried out fairly or correctly and that this consultation is therefore invalid.”

County and Borough Cllr Trevor Beckwith, who represents Moreton Hall, said: “Designating Moreton Hall a strategic site is irresponsible, cavalier planning. The objections from within the existing community were disregarded as the council opted for the easy option with straightforward land ownsrship.

“The existing population is 8,000 and to suggest that over 500 additional dwellings is acceptable shows a build at all costs attitude irrespective of the impact on such a large community.”

An objection from British Sugar said: “We have previously objected to the proposed North East Bury St Edmunds strategic allocation on the grounds that it could have serious implications on the continued operation of British Sugar.”

In support, Eric Cooper, of the Highways Agency, said it considers ‘a masterplan approach could be useful in identifying the overarching development principles, phasing and infrastructure requirements’.

Another supporting submission noted that ‘every housing development needs affordable housing’.

A spokeswoman for the council said if the Inspector ‘believes something needs more discussion, based on comments received during the final June – August, consultation, he or she will issue an invitation to those concerned with the issue to a hearing’.

She added: “The Examination is open to the public for people to listen to the proceedings, but they will not be able to take an active part unless the Inspector invites them to do so.”