Public outcry over controversial plans for new homes in West Row

Jubilee Centre in Mildenhall. ENGANL00120121029163237
Jubilee Centre in Mildenhall. ENGANL00120121029163237
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Residents in West Row have spoken out in strong objection to plans for more than 100 new homes in the village.

Around 70 residents attended a public meeting on Tuesday to discuss the application for 138 houses off Beeches Road.

The exceptional meeting was organised by developers Pigeon Investments, to present its plans to members of Mildenhall Parish Council.

However, an unprecedented crowd turned up to voice their disapproval.

Kelvin Mullarkey, 63, a resident of Chapel Road for 30 years, said: “The whole meeting was a complete farce. But I went along and had my say, and I was glad so many other people were there in support.

“It is the little people against the big money, and we have no one in our corner.”

West Row ward councillor Gerald Taylor-Balls, one of two who voted against the plans, said: “There is a lot of ill feeling in West Row because it is such a large development.

“There are certainly concerns about the infrastructure - it was not designed to cope with something that big.”

Parish council planning officer Dr Richard Greenfield said it had been an ‘exceptional move’ to let the developers state their case to the council.

“We had this presentation because as a parish council we felt we were being helpful to the community,” he said.

“I have a certain amount of sympathy with them, but we are bound by planning law and have to remain objective.”

Dr Greenfield added the developers had amended their plans to meet various complaints, including making the housing low density and providing amenities.

“I don’t think in any respect they are trying to steam-roller something through,” he said.

The application is due to be discussed by Forest Heath council’s development control committee on February 4.