Delay to council blueprint for thousands of houses in Bury St Edmunds sparks claims of electioneering

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A politcal row has broken out after claims that a blueprint for where thousands of houses will be built has been deliberately delayed for elections.

Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council Cllr John Griffiths will tell a meeting of the full council on Tuesday that the Bury St Edmunds Vision 2031 document, which says where development will take place over the next 18 years, has had a ‘slight delay’ to get ‘additional evidence’.

The final round of consultation is expected in late June although the council will not say when it was originally planned for.

Green Party Cllr Mark Ereira then claimed the document had deliberately been delayed by the Conservatives until after the Suffolk County Council elections in May.

“So they are waiting after May elections b4 confirming destruction,” he tweeted.

But Conservative Cllr Paul Farmer hit back tweeting: ‘The delay has been known about for months. Doesn’t stop you electioneering though does it? Fear of the unknown should do.”

A council spokeswoman said: “There is still a huge amount of analysis and potentially further research to underpin the detail in the Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill and Rural Vision 2031 documents.”

This she said included highways information, sustainability appraisals and a infrastructure delivery plan.

“These are extremely important documents which will guide the future development of the borough so we will take all the care, and time, that is needed before the next consultation,” she said.

In Bury St Edmunds it includes:

Around 900 homes, education, community and recreation facilities between the Howard Estate/ Mildenhall Road estate and the Fornhams.

Around 500 homes for Moreton Hall.

Some 450 homes and a new hospital at Westley.

Approximately 1,250 homes between Bury and Great Barton and another 1,250 on land to the South East of the town around the Rougham Road/ Sicklesmere Road area.

After final consultation in June, the document will go to a planning inspector in early 2014.