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Bury St Edmunds West housing development: Part relief road and level of buffer zone spark objections

Objections have been lodged over plans for nearly 500 homes to the west of Bury St Edmunds including the lack of a full relief road and the level of a buffer with a nearby village.

Pigeon Investment Management Ltd, on behalf of Pigeon (Bury West) Ltd and Nicholas and Roger Winship, has produced a hybrid application for up to 485 homes and part of a relief road on land off Newmarket Road.

Objections have been raised with West Suffolk Council - with several highlighting the absence of a full relief road, which is a planning policy requirement to connect Westley Road with Newmarket Road.

The Bury West site outlined in red. Picture: Google
The Bury West site outlined in red. Picture: Google

Chris Anderson, chairman of Westley Parish Council, described the part road as ‘culminating in a useless cul-de-sac’ and said the plans ‘fail to provide a sufficiently significant buffer between the western boundary of Bury St Edmunds and Westley’.

He added there are 35 more homes than indicated in the local plan.

Dr Timothy Allsopp, of Old Church Lane, Westley, said: “By definition a relief road can only be complete and not in part, otherwise it does not provide relief for anything.”

St Mary's Church, Hill Road, Westley. Picture: Google
St Mary's Church, Hill Road, Westley. Picture: Google

Marian Clayton and Debbie Mallinson, wardens at St Mary’s Church in Westley, said the full road was ‘essential to ensure safe access to the church and footpath and to prevent further potentially expensive damage to the listed church wall’.

Emma Ball, of Bullens Close, Westley, said: “The consequences of such a large development with so many dwellings so close to a small village will effectively ruin Westley forever and is unacceptable.”

Jill Crighton, conservation planner for Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said there appeared to be no proposals to retain and buffer hedgerows that are a ‘habitat of principal importance’ or compensate for their potential loss.

Pigeon says the full length of the relief will be delivered ‘when the land becomes available’.

Michael Underwood, who owns the land, has said he is prepared to sell it ‘on normal commercial terms, as validated by the Lands Tribunal, to Pigeon’.

James Buxton, chairman of Pigeon, said the consultation has not yet concluded and they will ‘give full consideration to all responses in due course’.

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