Woolpit’s Neighbourhood Plan moves on a pace as hundreds of homes proposed for village

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Woolpit village is girding itself for potential planning battles as it prepares its Neighbourhood Plan which will give greater control about how the village grows.

There are fears that hundreds of homes could overwhelm the village centre and infrastructure.

Already five schemes could see 760 homes built, although some are at the pre-planning application stage.

At a recent exhibition and presentation day organised by the Neigbourhood Plan Steering Group people were able to come along and see the group’s progress so far.

Already 120 homes have been agreed for land at OId Stowmarket Road. This has been generally welcomed as it will enable the village health centre to expand by providing it with new car parking.

Hopkins Homes has been talking to the community as it wants to build 450 homes on land land off Bury Road. It has not yet submitted plans to the district council. This would be built in stages and involve a new link road between the A14 and Bury Road.

Richard Mawhood, vice chairman of the steering group, said: “Our infrastruture is going to be severely stretched. Our school is full and the health centre needs to expand.

“This is too much and needs to be spaced out. If we have 750 homes over the next 15 years that is just about do-able but is four times the existing average building rate. We are not against the village growing but at the right pace.”

Committee member Jane Foster said: “We have a very pretty centre and the roads are very narrow. If there is lots of traffic through Woolpit it will destroy our village and our community. Development cannot be too fast. We need to assimilate new people coming in.”

A spokesman for Mid Suffolk District Council said that under the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, which looks at the potential for house building, up to 480 houses could be built. including the 120 already agreed by councillors.