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New homes in Thurston could ‘put lives at risk’, says parish council

Thurston. Picture: ARCHANT

Thurston. Picture: ARCHANT

Proposals to build more than 800 new homes in Thurston could put lives at risk, according to the parish council.

Plans for a large scale development in the west Suffolk village were approved by the Mid Suffolk District Council Planning Referrals Committee after a seven-hour meeting on Wednesday night.

Two applications – 64 homes at Meadow Lane and 129 houses on land west of Barton Road – were given full planning permission, while three further proposals were granted outline permission.

Thurston Parish Council says it is “deeply disappointed” by the decisions and the homes will risk lives at the village’s railway station.

The parish council says rail passengers travelling towards Cambridge have to use the ungated station foot crossing over two tracks with limited visibility from the Ipswich direction.

A mere 10% increase in use would put the crossing into a more serious risk category – which could lead to closure of the Cambridge platform, according to the parish council.

A spokeswoman for Thurston Parish Council said: “The parish council is deeply disappointed at the decisions reached by the Mid Suffolk Planning Referrals Committee.

“Approval for housing has been given without: An infrastructure development plan; any certainty of a solution to the railway station problems; regard to continued concerns to mitigate highway solutions, any certainty of health provision and any solution to the current parking problems.

“In particular, individual councillors who were voted in by the residents of mid Suffolk will have to take responsibility for their support for issues which put the lives and well-being of members of the parish of Thurston at risk.”

Kathie Guthrie, chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council’s Planning Referrals Committee, said: “I know there will be disappointment in Thurston at these decisions but the committee wanted to ensure opponents of each scheme were given time to speak and took their concerns on board.

“The committee has required a package of infrastructure measures to mitigate the impact on Thurston’s infrastructure and imposed conditions to manage a wide range of planning issues including issues related to the railway station.”

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