If you haven’t had your head in the sand for the past few years, you will be aware thousands of new homes could be developed in Bury St Edmunds as part of the Vision 2031 masterplan.
As a Moreton Hall resident, developer Taylor Wimpey invited me to a display of its masterplan for a 500-home scheme on the estate. So after finishing work on Monday I headed to the Flying Fortress pub – near the proposed development site – to have a closer look at plans which could shape life on the estate for years to come.
I don’t have any problem with more homes on Moreton Hall: Clearly housing is in demand in Bury St Edmunds if house prices for buying or renting are anything to go by. I also have no problem with plans for a secondary school and sporting facilities. However, I do have questions about the impact 500 extra homes on the eastern side of town will have on traffic congestion.
Taylor Wimpey states its development will pay for the long-awaited Eastern Relief Road – connecting the eastern side of Moreton Hall with junction 45 (Rougham) of the A14 – and this will relieve the congestion at junction 44 (Bury East) because currently estate residents wanting to head towards Ipswich use this junction.
Now, as someone who has regularly sat in morning traffic stretching up past Sainsbury’s and Homebase and towards Matalan when trying to drive into Bury, I think the number of cars using Bedingfeld Way to join the A14 at junction 44 is in the minority. The bulk of the morning traffic heads towards the town centre, with gridlock caused when cars coming off the A14 join the Moreton Hall drivers.
I’m not convinced the Eastern Relief Road is going to solve this problem, but time will tell. And time is another concern: The relief road will not be built until after the development is complete. So what will happen in the meantime? Hundreds more homes on the estate surely means hundreds more cars using roads already at capacity. I predict longer journey times all round.
See the plans and have your say at www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/in-your-area