Villagers asked to help shape future of vacant site

Suffolk councillor Richard Kemp and Parish councillor John Nunn say a speed hump is needed in Bull Lane as cars speed down there all the time and one day there will be an accident.''FL; Suffolk councillor Richard Kemp and Parish councillor John Nunn. ENGANL00120130325150720
Suffolk councillor Richard Kemp and Parish councillor John Nunn say a speed hump is needed in Bull Lane as cars speed down there all the time and one day there will be an accident.''FL; Suffolk councillor Richard Kemp and Parish councillor John Nunn. ENGANL00120130325150720
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Have your say

Villagers in Long Melford will be asked how they would like to see a vacant factory site developed for the good of the community.

District councillors Richard Kemp and John Nunn have commissioned a questionnaire, asking what people would like to see happen to the Fleetwood Caravans site.

Last year, the land was the subject of a village campaign which led to the refusal of plans to build 51 homes on the site off Hall Street.

“We thought that, as community leaders, we should carry out a consultation – free from the parish council and the landowner – to see what people would like to see,” said Mr Kemp.

In the questionnaire, which has been circulated to all households, residents will be able to have their say on five different options for the land, with some ideas, such as a new car park, excluded on the grounds of viability.

The planned housing development was rejected partly due to safety fears for pedestrians – and Mr Kemp feels a car park would fall foul of similar concerns.

The five possible options in the survey are:

l Offices/workshops

l A new smaller housing development

l A mixture of homes, including affordable housing for local people

l Affordable housing for rent, or

l The building of a retirement community.

Mr Kemp said the site was, in his opinion, the “ideal setting” for a retirement home as it occupies a central location and would not generate too much increased traffic.

He said there was not sufficient retirement housing in Long Melford.

“It would be beneficial, both to the village and probably to the landowner, who could develop it, or sell it, and make a profit,” he said.

Mr Kemp said this was just his view, adding that he was keen to hear other people’s opinions.

When the questionnaire results have been received, the information gathered will be presented to the current landowner, SB2 Property Ventures.

Mr Kemp said he felt the questionnaire would prove a useful aid to any future development.