Parish council takes action to defend village

A PARISH council is preparing to defend its village amid fears it is under threat from future development.

Great Barton Parish Council has joined forces with its parishioners, including those in Cattishall, to take action on St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s latest Vision 2031 proposal, which opened for consultation yesterday and will run until April 31.

On Monday, planning consultant John Popham advised the parish council on how to negotiate protective landscaping for areas at risk of encroachment from the planned North East Compiegne Way site.

“The difficulty is the amount of development that’s been agreed probably can’t be satisfactorily delivered,” he said.

He added: “You can no longer object in principal to the development of the site but you can object to the extent of the proposed site.

“The other thing you can do is produce your own strategic landscaping scheme to protect the parish and then seek to influence the proposal that’s being made by the borough.”

On Tuesday, a landscape architect carried out a site inspection, after being commissioned to produce a sketch of a possible ‘buffer zone’ for the parish council to consider.

Mr Popham said that if a binding agreement could reached, the council could insist on the site being planted up quickly to allow it to reach a level of maturity by the time the development gets under way in around 2021 and prevent the village being ‘adversely affected’.

“It’s perfectly reasonable to expect the landowner and developer to carry out the strategic planting immediately if the site’s allocated,” he said.

One concerned resident at Monday’s meeting said: “I can’t believe the whole community isn’t up in arms about this.”

Details will be included in the next newsletter but residents are strongly urged to attend the next parish council meeting, in the village hall, at 7pm on Monday.