Anger over town council’s boundary request

Onehouse Parish Chairman Ron Raisey is unhappy about council request to change village boundary.
Onehouse Parish Chairman Ron Raisey is unhappy about council request to change village boundary.
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An argument has erupted following an application by Stowmarket Town Council to change the town’s boundaries.

The council have applied for a Community Governance Review with Mid Suffolk District Council looking to change the town council’s ward areas.

Stowmarket Town Clerk David Blackburn said that the fast growth in the town had led to massive discrepancies in how many residents each town councillor represented.

He also said it was undesirable having estates on the outskirts of the town as part of outlying village parishes.

The review could mean parts of the Chilton Leys housing development, which is currently included in the Onehouse and Haughley parish areas, would become part of the town.

But Onehouse Parish Chairman Ron Raisey said a boundary change in his village would mean the parish may miss out on community money raised from the Chilton Leys development and continuing tax funds.

He said: “We will be contesting the boundary change because we would miss out on section 106 money and not be able to fund projects in the village.

“It is our job as parish councillors to do our absolute best for our parishioners.

“We have been fighting the development and have had some success in reducing the number of houses that will be built and establishing the green buffer between Stowmarket and Onehouse but we still need to fight to get our share of the section 106 money.

“A question is where does this end - as the town keeps growing will the villages outside Stowmarket just become part of the town.”

Stowmarket Town and County Councillor Gary Green said although he sympathised with the parish’s position, he argued that residents moving into the Chilton Leys development would consider themselves as part of Stowmarket.

He said; “Stowmarket is a growing town.

“Although Chilton Leys sits in Onehouse and Haughley the residents will look to Stowmarket as their town.

“If you do a review before the places are built there will be no confusion over council tax bills later on.

“It happened to me where I live. It used to be a part of Haughley but in 2011 it changed to Stowmarket and my council tax jumped.

“My argument is that it is unfair for to the residents who move in to pay a lower council tax bill with one of the parishes and then when the boundary changes later they get a higher council tax bill.”

For more see Friday’s Bury Free Press.