Ixworth Parish Council says accidents show fears for planned junction justified

Ixworth residents and councillors protested over the plans last April. Picture: Mecha Morton

The chairman of a parish council has criticised a developer for going ahead with a junction design in spite of accidents at similar ones nearby.

Ben Lord, chairman of Ixworth Parish Council, said it had hoped Persimmon Homes would take heed of its fears over an access road to a new estate of 87 homes being via a ghost junction on the A1088, but the latest revised plans stick with the layout.

When the estate plans were first submitted, in 2016, parish, county and borough councils objected to using a ghost junction,instead of an access road to an existing roundabout. Permission was granted after a planning appeal.

But Mr Lord said: “Since being awarded the appeal there have been two accidents on ghost islands on that road, one a fatality and one where two air ambulances were required.”

The parish council and residents also objected to a plan to provide access to Walsham Road, which has been no through road for about 30 years and is the access to Ixworth Free School. There were fears of creating more through traffic on the road.

Mr Lord said the parish council felt its concerns over Walsham Road had not been dealt with ‘robustly’.

The revised plan has collapsible bollards that emergency vehicles can drive over but Mr Lord said: “Even if they’re putting bollards in now, there a possibility of them not being there in the future – that road does not need to be reopened.”

The new houses would be the first phase of housing on an area designated for up to 400 homes on the district plan, accessed from the roundabout.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Suffolk said: “The junction was designed in consultation with Suffolk County Council’s highway department with the appropriate road safety audit undertaken for this initial stage of the design. The consultation determined the right turn ghost island to be the safest option for this location.”

On Walsham Road he said: “The proposal is to design the access through to the school for pedestrians, cycles and emergency vehicles only.

“We are not aware of any recent communication received from the Parish Council, but applications have been submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council and discussions are ongoing.”

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