Meeting held to tackle issue

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RESIDENTS from an estate in Stowmarket are calling for action to tackle anti-social behaviour on the old A14 slip road.

Stowmarket Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) organised a public meeting on Monday night for residents and councillors to discuss any local issues.

Residents living on the Chilton Estate have suffered for months from late night noise coming from Shepherd’s Lane and the former A14 slip road, used as a gathering point for youngsters with cars.

The meeting, held at Stowmarket Football cCub, was organised by PCSO David Harvey with John Spitzer, community safety officer at Mid Suffolk District Council, and was chaired by Sgt Neil Paterson, from Stowmarket SNT.

Chilton residents have suffered months of late night noise since the Respect Zone was launched in Stowmarket town centre and drivers were moved out of Ipswich Street and the Regal car park.

The problem in Shepherd’s Lane has been a priority for the SNT, and the Highways Agency has carried out a survey to monitor the use of the roads. The survey showed that HGVs are also using the site to park overnight.

Late night noise from groups of parked cars and cars racing along the stretch of road travels across the fields to the estate.

Stowmarket town councillor Duncan Macpherson investigated the issue and found that the acoustic barrier next to the new section of A14 is serving as a reflector for the vehicle noise.

Cllr Macpherson said: “Anyone who is affected by this is going to have their quality of life damaged and the people who are causing this won’t be realising quite the effect they are having.

“The only real answer is for the police to use their powers to remind people, typically young people with performance cars, that this is just the wrong thing to do in their own community.”

Town councillor Heather Salmon urged residents to inform the police of all incidents so they could gain an idea of the scale of the problem.

It became clear at the meeting that there is no money available to take any immediate action, such as speed enforcement or a change to road lay out, to conquer the problem.

But estate developer Taylor Wimpy plans to build more residential buildings on nearby land and said the problem would eventually be designed out.