Town-wide petition against 5,900 homes gathers pace

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A TOWN-wide petition against proposals to build thousands of homes in Bury St Edmunds is gathering pace.

More than 200 residents have signed the document online with another 70 logging their objections on sheets distributed around neighbourhoods over plans for 5,900 homes in the next 20 years.

Cllr Trevor Beckwith launched the petition with Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer because they fear the proposals, which form part of St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Vision 2031 growth management framework, and the subsequent 15,000 population increase is ‘damaging to the unique character of the town’ and ‘is unsustainable in terms of infrastructure and natural resources’.

On the petition’s progress, Cllr Beckwith, who represents Moreton Hall for the Borough and Suffolk County Councils, said: “It’s early days yet. We’ve got a couple of months in which we can keep this going or maybe even longer. We will just keep going until we get a good reflection of what the people of Bury think. I’m convinced that what we’re doing is right and the vast majority of people don’t want this over development.”

The document has been distributed to community and neighbourhood groups and Cllr Beckwith is canvassing around Moreton Hall, which is one of the five areas earmarked for development.

When asked for a response over the petition, Cllr John Griffiths, leader of the borough council, said: “Obviously we will listen to all comments about the future of Bury and West Suffolk. Nobody wants over-development or housing without jobs, the right sort of environment and infrastructure.

“I haven’t seen the petition yet but I understand they’re saying they don’t want 5,900 homes. It would be interesting to know what they actually do want.”

The petition is available at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/the-future-of-bury-st-edmunds or by emailing trevor.beckwith@tiscali.co.uk or call him on (01284) 703894.