READERS’ LETTERS: From the Bury Free Press of Friday, February 14

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A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, February 14

LEG OF MUTTON IS AN IMPORTANT SITE

I am appalled to read in the article concerning the Leg of Mutton site the proposals for its development (Bury Free Press, February 7) and am minded to protest in the strongest possible way to the development with buildings of any kind on this site. Once one building is erected with water, electricity gas etc, the entire site will soon become a housing development. No company supplying the above amenities will supply them for just one building. This open land is an important site and if developed at all, should be planted with trees, shrubs and walkways for the recreation and enjoyment of the inhabitants of Bury St Edmunds and others.

With all the housing development going on in Bury at the present time, recreational facilities become even more important and should be given generous consideration.

-- Lady Jeanne Bartlett, via email

SITE WOULD BE LOST FOREVER

A critical point about the conservation from development of The Leg of Mutton field is that once it is built on it is lost forever.

I believe it was the Bury Society which some years ago ensured that one of the joys of walking down Abbeygate is the view of greenery beyond the Abbey Gardens.

One of the many charms of Bury St Edmunds is that it is/was a small country market town with a fascinating history; every time I walk there I see some architectural gem that I had not previously noticed.

Sadly the proposed developments (where are the people who will live in all these houses going to find work?) are slowly eroding the charm of its compactness but we bow to the inevitable.

But if we do that we must at least try to ensure that the generations who will follow us have the benefit of the Leg of Mutton just as we today enjoy the view from Abbeygate. The current population of BSE is apparently just over 35,000 with an estimated huge increase with all the future developments making it all the more critical that lungs for breathing are preserved.

To suggest building on The Leg of Mutton is like suggesting that Hyde Park be turned over to housing.

-- J M Cawthorne, St Mary’s Square, Bury St Edmunds

SITE IS HOME TO MUCH WILDLIFE

RE ‘Runway’homes raise concerns’ (Bury Free Press, February 7). You would not dream of building on this land, it being right against a military airfield (RAF Lakenheath) and I would have thought the Americans would not either.

The land in question has always been farmed by the (Elveden) estate, always producing very good arable crops and a few years ago grazing for the dairy herd. I have a few photographs taken over the last few years and some going back to 1970 showing this land being farmed and I wonder, as do others, why the estate has ceased over the last few years to farm this land or keep it as it is now with livestock.

With regard to the pine trees which the estate surveyed and gave not a very high rating, let me tell you and the estate, apart from the odd branch, these trees look not very different than they did 40 years ago or even 100 years. They are home to so much wildlife – crossbills nest in only pine belts as do so many other bird species.The Caudle Farm fields have become feeding grounds for hobby; common curlew in the early misty mornings call out as they fly in to feed, skylarks, crows , rooks in large flocks feeding on the leather jackets, an assortment of butterflies and moths – it will be one less habitat for them, gone never to return. There are so many other issues concerning the impact on the infrastructure of Lakenheath. The village has grown over the years housing-wise, facilities have depleted, traffic has increased volumes. You only have to drive the local uneven roads and look in the hedges and ditches to see the number of car accidents there have been lately. There would be an estimated 1,000 cars from this project on these roads, twice a day. It would be interesting to see at going to work and coming home times.By the way, could you tell me where all the jobs are? And if what we hear is true about the Americans cutting back on staff numbers, this should free a number of houses back into availability for non-military people,. The estate put the empty houses they have up for rent and, with the 500 odd houses at Lords Walk for sale, I would have thought this area had its quota of housing that we are told this area falls short in.

Finally,Iwould like to ask all involved in this project: Will you be moving to Caudle Farm with your families, taking them to the play and recreational areas, perhaps enjoy a picnic while the jets and the Blackhawk helicopters fly low overhead?

-- David Brown, Lakenheath

BE FIRM WITH DEVELOPERS

Reading the letter (Bury Free Press, February 7) about Vision 2031 and the hearings in the Apex, specifically what is intended for the proposed development adjacent to Westley village, indicates that the borough planning department appears to be treading a well-trodden path. I recall that just a few years ago, when the arc was announced, we were promised a fine, new access from the Cornhill to the new development. It never happened. I imagine because the borough council did not insist, at the time on this being an essential part of the planning permission.

With all the proposed housing developments in the Vision 2031, there will inevitably be a need for new roads, schools and various other community improvements relevant to the locations of these sites. Surely these should be a fundamental condition within the planning permissions. Of course, developers will seek to evade them – alongside reneging on the need for affordable housing – because they are in business to get the best return on their investments. This approach is a fact of modern business life and a multitude of public and private investors derive benefit from that.

Quite simply, any developers trying to renege on the provision of community facilities within the negotiated planning process should be told to pack their bags and go. The council will only need to do this once – the message will be swiftly understood.

-- E N Allen, Bury St Edmunds

DESELECTION OF TIM YEO

The deselection of Tim Yeo as the South Suffolk Conservative parliamentary candidate (Bury Free Press, February 7) leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. The rightwingers in his local party publicly say they don’t like his absence from the constituency. But they never mention the main reason for that absence – his chairing of the Energy and Climate Change Committee.

I believe that is what they object to most of all – his principled efforts to curb carbon emissions, which they see as a block on rampant development. Objections by Conservative activists to his age, his directorships, his time on the golf course or his third home outside the county do not ring true. Since when has any of those been a block on being a Conservative MP? After all, Sir Gerald Howarth MP is presumably enjoying his new home in South Suffolk, hundreds of miles from his Aldershot constituency, but I am not aware of moves to deselect him.

Fortunately, any Conservatives disillusioned by Mr Yeo’s sacking will have a chance to vote Green at the next election.

-- Robert Lindsay, Co ordinator Babergh Green Party, Bildeston

HOSPITAL STAY WAS A HAPPY ONE

At approximately 2.15 am on Sunday, I drove myself to the West Suffolk Hospital with acute breathing problems. I arrived at A&E where I was immediately received at reception and was seen by a nurse who took my particulars, examined me and I was then seen by a doctor who arranged an xray and told me I would be admitted to ward F7. The x-ray took place and I was transported to F7 and was made very comfortable at about 6am.

The nursing staff could not have been more caring and were always eager to help and assist, not just me but all the other seven patients on the ward. I was seen by three different doctors, one consultant and two carers before I was discharged on the Monday evening. The food I received was excellent, well prepared, hot when served and a super selection to choose from. I cannot speak too highly for the wonderful way I was treated, especially the nursing staff on F 7. Thank you so much to everyone who made my short stay such a happy one, you are all doing a wonderful job at our hospital, long may it be so.

-- Malcolm Lambourne, Bury St Edmunds

THANK YOU FOR FINDING RING

On February 4, I discovered to my horror that I had lost one of my most precious items, a ring given to me by my nan and grandad many years ago. Deeply upset and frantic, I searched my home and my workplace to no avail. My final hope was the Tesco petrol station, but no nothing. When walking back to the car a gentleman came over – he had heard me ask in the petrol station and had found it and came over to return it. I did not get his name but words cannot express how grateful I am to him.

-- A Hempstead, Bury St Edmunds

PEOPLE ARE JUST TOO LAZY

The main reason why there is so much obesity (Bury Free Press, February 7) is that people are lazy. They rely too much on the motor car and eat the wrong food.

They don’t walk enough.

-- Trevor Watkin, via email