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Resident protests for simpler local plan consultation and building on green spaces

A woman set up camp outside the building holding a Mid Suffolk local plan consultation to protest against plans to build on green spaces in Stowmarket, and to try to get more local people involved in the consultation.

Judith Thompson set up a large placard stating ‘Have your say about Stowmarket’s future’ outside The Mix, where the joint local plan public consultation was taking place, to encourage people to join in the consultation.

Judith said: “The joint local plan is a really big thing about how to shape villages and towns. I am protesting to support the town council on some of the things in the joint local plan.”

Diane and Tom Oates, residents of Stowmarket with Maggie Aldridge and Judith Thompson.
Diane and Tom Oates, residents of Stowmarket with Maggie Aldridge and Judith Thompson.

Judith and Stowmarket Town Council are campaigning to save land known as Tinklers Meadow, south of Finborough Road and Mill Mount Field, land just beyond the brow of Poplar Hill, to save the green spaces from being built on.

“Unless a town or village has a neighbourhood plan, the plans are discriminatory and it doesn’t give communities a chance,” Judith said.

Cllr Keith Scarff, from the Combs Ford Ward, said: “We are really supportive of what Judith is trying to do, as are the town council to protect these open spaces, Mill Mount Field and Tinklers Meadow.”

Mark Russell, acting area planning manager from Mid Suffolk and Babergh Councils, who led the consultation, said: “We will listen to any suggestions and we will listen to everything everyone says if it can be done better. This is the second event in Stowmarket we have held. Around 50 people turned up for the first event.”

Judith said she wants people to have their say and get involved in the public consultation.

“Nobody knows it’s happening,” she said, “there is no summary document, it is overwhelming for the public. I am here because I really believe local residents can have a say about shaping the future of their community, whether it’s a small village or a big town.”

  • In Tinklers Meadow an application for 56 homes was rejected, a new application for four houses is currently awaiting a decision.
  • An application for 160 houses in Mill Mount Field was refused. A further application for 138 houses on the site was also refused by Mid Suffolk Council.

To view the joint local plan go to www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/jointlocalplan

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