Anger at homes plan for Thurston

The development sites are drawn in red. 138 homes was later reduced to 129 through a twin-tracked application
The development sites are drawn in red. 138 homes was later reduced to 129 through a twin-tracked application
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Community leaders have vowed to make sure residents’ voices are heard with the prospect of more 800 new homes being built in their village.

Thurston Parish Council says it will do ‘everything it can’ to make sure a proper infrastructure is in place as five planning applications, totalling 818 homes, progress.

The pledge was backed was backed by Mid Suffolk District Council’s own chairman, and Thurston resident, Cllr Derrick Haley, who said he is now looking into the possibility of having the applications called in for review by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning referrals committee last week granted two applications, one for 250 new homes and one for 200 homes, outline planning permission. Two for 129 and 64 homes were granted full planning permission

A fifth for 175 homes had already been granted outline permission on appeal to the planning inspectorate, by the developer, earlier that week.

The growth has raised concerns the village’s roads will not cope and that ‘lives could be put at risk’ at the village rail station where passengers have to cross an ungated platform to reach the Cambridge-bound platform.

Thurston currently has around 3,500 residents with another 97 new homes also under construction.

All applications apart from Hopkins Homes one for 175 will face a condition that further reports are carried out regarding rail safety.

A spokesperson for the parish council said: “The planners have failed and the district councillors have failed to hold them to account.

“The planning committee has displayed a complete disregard for local people.

“When the applications come back for reserve matters, we will enter into dialogue to influence, as best we can, what goes through on behalf of residents.”

Cllr Haley said: “Councillors have not really understood what they have done to wreck this village. The road situation worries me to death, apart from the rail concerns and the fact Thurston doesn’t have a GP surgery.

“I will do everything in my power to see if these applications could be called in by the DCLG.”