Residents angry over plans for new estate

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RESIDENTS in Bury St Edmunds are angry at the lack of consultation over plans to develop a new estate behind two existing ones.

A site towards Fornham All Saints, which includes 900 homes and a link road to the village, is one of five areas in the town earmarked for future growth,

But residents on the Howard estate are worried about how the development will affect them and angry that, they say, the developer is not being ‘proactive’ in obtaining their views.

On Monday, the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants (HEART) invited Steve Price, senior planning manager for Countryside Properties, which will develop the site, to speak about the draft plans.

Earnie Broom, chairman of HEART said: “To say we’re worried is an understatement because we don’t know what’s happening and we really need to know.”

Concern is mounting for the future of Howard Middle School as some believe its large playing fields offer the developer an attractive build site.

After campaigning to rebuild the school 25 years ago, Mr Broom is adamant its impressive facilities should continue to be used .

“It beggars belief, if they are to have a school for the new estate and close a middle school, that they’re going to pull Howard Middle down, which will cost thousands, and build another one elsewhere - they don’t need to.”

There are also concerns about the lack of integration between the new estate and the existing Howard and Mildenhall Road estates, and the risk of duplicating shops.

“We’re trying to make it an equal community rather than a divisive one - we want community cohesion,” said Mr Broom.

“I don’t want to see two separate, unconnected, unintegrated communities,” said Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer, who represents Bury’s Town Division on Suffolk County Council.

Mr Broom said: “The more people that register their views, the more we’ll be listened to - bad things happen when good men stay silent.”

To register your views contact your councillors, or Mr Broom on 01284 703951.