Concerns raised over Vision 2031 proposals for north west of town

The North West Bury St Edmunds site
The North West Bury St Edmunds site
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Councillors have raised concerns over the Vision 2031 development of north west Bury St Edmunds - highlighting the traffic impacts, scale of a green buffer zone and need for a doctors surgery.

Borough Cllrs Julia Wakelam, of the Risbygate ward, and Diane Hind, of Northgate, spoke out over the proposals by Countryside Properties for up to 991 homes on land to the south of Fornham All Saints.

The developer has submitted a phased application to St Edmundsbury Borough Council including full approval for a link road between Mildenhall Road and Tut Hill and outline approval for the residential development, a local centre, reservation of land for a primary school and public open space such as outdoor sports provision.

Cllr Wakelam said although there is ‘an acute housing need in Bury, we need the right houses in the right place at the right time’.

She explained: “This application barely addresses the impact it will have on the quality of life of residents in Fornham Road and the other approach roads.

“The additional car traffic will lead to huge increases in air and noise pollution.”

She added that the proposal is causing concern among many residents as Bury will ‘expand almost to the edge of Fornham All Saints leaving only a small green buffer zone’.

Cllr Wakelam also felt the application was an ‘abuse of the planning process’ given that the final consultation on Vision 2031 has only just closed.

Meanwhile, Cllr Hind said she is also concerned about the impact on the road system and is ‘not convinced the link road is going to make that much difference’.

She also called for the plans to include a doctors surgery.

A spokesman for Countryside Properties said the plans promote sustainable transport by incorporating ‘improved bus, foot and cycle links to the town centre’ while the new link road will ‘help traffic flow’.

He noted that a ‘detailed transport assessment’ identified four instances where road improvements could be required including two junctions in Fornham Road.

The local centre could ‘incorporate a variety of uses’ including a doctors surgery.

He said that a ‘significant 63 acre buffer is being retained as agricultural land and public open space’.

On the timing of the planning application, he added: “Our planning application complies with the council’s adopted concept plan for the site and the timetable for its submission was discussed with them.”