Last ditch bid to stop 500 homes

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A RESIDENTS group has made a last ditch attempt to stop councillors approving a strategic plan for an extra 500 homes on their estate in Bury St Edmunds.

In a crunch meeting next Tuesday, St Edmundsbury Borough Council is expected to approve its core strategy – its blueprint for where new houses, businesses, and other facilities should be built in the borough over the next 21 years.

But the Moreton Hall Residents Association (MHRA) which met with St Edmundsbury Borough Council on Monday, has written to all councillors calling for it to delay the decision for a further year.

It says residents want further consultation over the plan, which could see 500 new homes – a tenth of that planned for Bury – built on the estate in the next six years.

Mike Bacon MHRA chairman said: “The current infrastructure does not support the existing estate let alone the further pressure to be imposed by the football facility, the extension of the business park and the proposed additional 500 houses.”

The MHRA also say that a change in Government policy meant communities should have more say over where homes are built.

Geoff Rivers, chief executive of the council, attended Monday’s residents meeting. He said the new homes would not be built until after a new Eastern relief road is opened, currently scheduled for around 2012/13.

“They were all quite vociferous about the infrastructure difficulties and we recognise that is something that needs to be addressed,” he said.

But he added that a delay could see the land set aside for housing development run out, and that he would be ‘a little bit surprised’ if the strategy, having gone through public consultation and before a planning inspector, fell at the ‘final hurdle’.