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Brandon councillors hit out at Local Plan's housing allocation for town

Councillors from Brandon have hit out at a Local Plan after the town was allocated just 33 extra homes until 2031.

West Suffolk Council adopted two local planning documents on Thursday night for the former Forest Heath district which have been supported by a planning inspector and guide how 6,800 homes are to be delivered up to 2031.

It means the authority has a complete suite of local plan documents and will now formally start work on forming a new local plan for the whole of the district which will last at least 15 years.

West Suffolk House. Picture: Mecha Morton
West Suffolk House. Picture: Mecha Morton

However, at Thursday’s meeting Cllr Victor Lukaniuk, who represents Brandon Central, said the plan was the 'death knell' for the town as it allocated just 33 extra homes until 2031 and would leave Brandon the 'poor relative' of West Suffolk when it came to developer contributions.

Cllr Lukaniuk said the council was 'not prepared to challenge Natural England about the wretched Stone curlew', which is a protected bird and has, in his view, prevented development.

Cllr Phil Wittam, who represents Brandon East, said that 33 houses 'doesn't cut it'.

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of the council, said Brandon was 'surrounded by significant environmental constraints including the Breckland SPA' which places a 'real barrier to growth'.

He appealed to Cllrs Lukaniuk and Wittam to work with the authority as it goes forward 'to try and improve the situation for Brandon'.

"I think there are other ways we can work with you to create opportunities for Brandon and we will continue to work with Natural England and the RSPB."

After consultation and engagement, a new local plan is programmed for adoption in 2023.

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