Questions raised over access consultations

A Long Melford residents’ group has voiced concerns over Babergh District Council’s decision to appoint an independent highways consultant to assess plans for 51 new homes.

David Wilson Homes has applied for permission for the housing development on the former Fleetwood Caravans factory site in Hall Street.

The Fleetwood Caravans Neighbourhood Association is objecting to the plans due to concerns over traffic, access roads and density of the development.

Christine Watts, a Long Melford resident and member of the group, said: “We are staggered by Babergh’s decision to use council tax payers’ money to appoint independent highways consultants to assess the proposal.

“Babergh has told us that it will be seeking to ensure there is no conflict of interest. We assume that means the consultant they engage hasn’t worked for, nor hopes to work, for the developer David Wilson Homes, or its huge parent company the Barratt Group, and is not a former local government employee from this area.”

Mrs Woodward said Suffolk County Council’s highways department had expressed concerns over public safety on access roads to the development, including narrow roads campaigners say would pose a problem for vehicles passing side-by-side.

Mrs Watts added that Suffolk County C0uncil would not be adopting the proposed development’s roads.

She said: “Will Babergh always seek a second opinion when the Highways Authority doesn’t give them the answer they want on future developments?

“Councillors should refuse planning permission and put safety first, not money,” added Mrs Watts.

Babergh District Council was unavailable for comment as the Free Press went to print.