Petition launch against homes

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A TOWN-wide petition has been launched against ‘unsustainable’ proposals to build thousands of homes in Bury St Edmunds in the next 20 years.

Councillors Trevor Beckwith and Mark Ereira-Guyer have spearheaded the document in protest over the 5,900 homes to be built across the town – as detailed in St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Vision 2031.

The Future of Bury St Edmunds petition says the 15,000 population increase is ‘damaging to the unique character of our fine historic town and its environs’.

It continues: “We believe that proposed development on this scale is unsustainable in terms of infrastructure and natural resources.”

It challenges the borough and Suffolk County Council ‘to explain fully how they will resolve current and future infrastructure deficiencies, particularly regarding highways and provision for other public services’.

The petition objects that ‘insufficient consideration was given to the wellbeing of existing and future communities and residents and that the option to develop a new settlement was wrongly dismissed by the council’.

It was launched following a recent public meeting last month at which residents voiced concerns about the scale of development.

However, Cllr Terry Clements, the borough’s cabinet member for planning, has asked people, before signing the petition, to think about what happens if the town doesn’t grow.

He said: “What do I say to the young people, and those growing older, who often tell me they want to live near their family and friends but there are no suitable homes? Do we tell them sorry, no – you’ll have to move away?”

The petition is available online at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/the-future-of-bury-st-edmunds/ or by emailing trevor.beckwith@tiscali.co.uk