Listing of Acton site by council raises concerns

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Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

An Acton resident has voiced his concerns after Babergh District Council listed land in the village as having the potential to be used for development.

Part of the council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) includes the potential for building 90 houses on the south side of the village of Acton on the Tamage Road boundary.

Residents have been left concerned, fearing that alongside other developments the village could be swamped.

These concerns were raised at a public meeting held at the village hall earlier in the month which was well attended.

At the meeting residents highlighted traffic and infrastructure problems as well as raising questions over the ability of the village primary school to take on a large group of new children.

John Purser, who lives near to the land which could be built on, said there was complete opposition to the idea.

He explained the greenfield site was formerly turned down for housing and a southern boundary to the village established at Tamage Road and Vicarage Lane.

Anxieties have risen as it is believed soil tests and road surveys may have been carried out by the land owner.

Mr Purser said the road formed the natural edge to the village, adding villagers did not want to become part of Sudbury.

If the proposed Chilton Woods Development goes ahead Sudbury would move even closer to Acton.

On the traffic problems Mr Purser said: “It’s bad enough as it is. We’ve got four roads in and out of Acton.”

He said the junction opposite The Acton Crown had poor visibility and said there were concerns over the village becoming a rat run.

“The school is at capacity. It’s just one of those cram them in things with no mention of the council having to pay for the infrastructure,” he said.

“But the main reason is the 90 extra homes. That’s a 10 per cent increase in population of the village.

“The village has already got applications for brownfield sites for around 12 homes so it is growing.”

Mr Purser said most people at the recent meeting thought the idea for 90 homes on the site was ridiculous, saying it would obscure existing home owners’ views over the local countryside.

Bill Newman, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ corporate manager for strategic planning, said: “We are currently working on our new joint local plan, designed to ensure we can provide the right types of houses in the right places.

“As part of our work we have published our SHLAA, an evidence document that will help inform our Local Plan.

“The SHLAA does not reflect a policy to build on all the sites identified, and we’ll be publicising our local plan and consulting on it before it is adopted.”