Residents lose battle against 500 new homes

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A BATTLE by residents to stop 500 new homes being built on a housing estate in Bury St Edmunds appears to have been lost this week.

The Moreton Hall Residents Association had called on St Edmundsbury Borough Council to delay the plans while further consultation was carried out.

But on Tuesday the council approved its core strategy to 2031, a document that outlines where houses will be built, including the provision of 500 homes on Moreton Hall in the next six years.

Paul Lambillion, vice- chairman of the residents’ group, said: “There is a mood on the estate of anger and disillusionment. They just don’t get it.

“This is democracy at its worst. Consultation is about listening to people and acting on their objections, not just ignoring them. They just tick boxed this through. I’m furious.”

He said other councils had delayed their planning schemes while seeking clarification over the impact of the Government’s localism bill, which was approved this week and which is due to give residents more say over where things are built – however the council said it had to approve the strategy otherwise it would be subject to wild planning applications – something Mr Lambillion has labelled as ‘rubbish’.

Cllr Trevor Beckwith, who represents the estate, voted against the plan. He said development had already reached the housing boundary while existing infrastructure was poor. He said: “The problems created will haunt this council for a very long time. Much more importantly, they will haunt a community who just want to get on with their lives and don’t need this hassle.

Cllr Terry Clements, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Cabinet member for planning and transport, said: “The involvement of local people is the foundation of this approach to planning.”

n View the plan at www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk/sebc/live/thecorestrategy.cfm or the library or West Suffolk House.