May 20 2013 Latest news:
By Laurence Cawley
Thursday, May 24, 2012
A PETITION calling on council chiefs to scrap proposals for up to 6,000 new homes in a west Suffolk town has been launched.
Those behind the petition - who includes Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley, independent councillors and parish councils - warn the 5,900 homes planned for Bury by 2031 would be the equivalent of three new Moreton Hall estates.
The proposed new homes were laid out in St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Vision 2031, on which the authority consulted earlier this year.
The pooposals include a 900-home plot between the Howard estate in Bury and Fornham All Saints, 500 homes at Moreton Hall, 450 between Bury and Westley, 1,250 between Bury and Great Barton and 1,250 to the south-east of the town.
The authority says the housing is needed to meet population growth and says the proposed rate of growth is 513 a year, less than during the past five years.
But critics say the scale of development would ‘destroy’ Bury and claim it does not have the infratsructure to support the new homes.
Mark Ereira, who has helped organise the petition with fellow county councillor Trevor Beckwith, said: “We’ve launched petition in response to the residents and parish councils that came to the last public meeting.
“They wanted the council to consider and review what it was doing before it destroyed the whole town
“This is the last chance saloon and if this goes forward you will have another 6,000 homes, which is another three Moreton Halls.”
Asked whether it would review its plans if enough people signed the petition, a spokeswoman for the council said: “The council always listens and we will act in the best interests of the young people growing up today, the workers who come here for jobs, and people who want to stay here as they grow older.”
Terry Clements, the council’s cabinet member for planning and transport, said: “Before signing a petition, I would ask people not only to think about what happens if we build more houses but also what happens if we don’t grow.
“What do I say to the young people, and those growing older, who often tell me they want to live near their family and friends but there are no suitable homes? Do we tell them sorry, no - you’ll have to move away?”