Stowupland villagers pack meeting on 175 homes plan
About 150 Stowupland residents attended a public meeting to voice concerns about a planning application for 175 homes, on the site of a refused application for 190 homes.
The previous application for the farmland site was refused by Mid Suffolk planners and the appeal against refusal will be heard at a public inquiry in April.
Residents, who filled Columbine Hall Barn on last night, were concerned about the amount of traffic generated by the development, with the only access for traffic onto the A1120 which was busy at school times.
District Cllr Keith Welham said the traffic figures used by the developer were based on pupil numbers before the expansion of the schools and the increase in pupil numbers at the start of the present term, yet they predict that one key junction in the village will be at capacity in 2020.
Users and residents of Gipping Road were already concerned about increased traffic since the Post Office was relocated there and fear a further increase if A1120 becomes congested and drivers use narrow village roads to avoid hold-ups.
Villagers were concerned that with schools already full, Suffolk County Council would need large financial contributions to build new classrooms but that would mean a loss of playing fields.
Several speakers said the development was being planned for ‘maximum profit’ and would not help to meet the local need for affordable housing.
They also felt it would cause the loss of an area of open landscape used by ramblers and dog walkers, a loss of wildlife habitat and result in urbanisation of a visually important open space.
One of the biggest concerns was that all drivers will have to use A1120 past two schools, two churches and other village facilities.
Cllr Welham said: “In places the road is too narrow for large lorries to pass each other without getting so close to the footpath that pedestrians are at risk.
“This would make walking alongside the road very hazardous, especially near the schools.”
Claire Pizzey, clerk to the Parish Council, said, “The views of residents will be taken into account when the parish council meets on 8 October to consider their response to this application.
“The Council, in response to the previous application, agreed to set aside funds to fight development on the site which is a very attractive area of open landscape much used by ramblers and dog walkers.”
The developers Gladman said last week: “We appreciate that people who live within the immediate vicinity of our housing proposals may have concerns, however, these need to be balanced against the requirement to provide new homes.”