This flies in the face of parish plan

On Tuesday October 9, Long Melford Parish Council’s planning committee will hear revised plans for 51 homes to be built by a sister company of Barratt Homes on the former Fleetwood Caravans site in the centre of the village. All interested residents and business owners are being urged to attend at the village hall at 7.30pm.

It may be the last chance to make their views known before Babergh District Council’s planning committee considers the proposal. Part of the site is in the conservation area and access is through a gap between buildings next to the Cock & Bell public house which we understand is not considered wide enough for a footpath for safe pedestrian access.

The proposal flies in the face of Long Melford’s Parish Plan that was published in 2006. After extensive consultation with Melford residents in which an astonishing 77% of household’s filled in questionnaires, the villagers’ main concerns included reducing traffic, providing more car parking and seeing more jobs created.

This proposed development is likely to increase traffic and exacerbate the village’s parking problems (something the developer denies).

We would like the see some of the land used for a much-needed public car park near the village centre and for commercial purposes to provide local jobs – especially in the light of Fleetwood Caravans closing and the loss of 80 jobs.

We are not against part of the land being used for housing but we would like to see the other issues addressed and the proposed density of the housing reduced. Some 300 traffic movements a day, into and out of a narrow access, can be expected as a direct result of this development.

Local residents have written to Babergh to express similar concerns. The Government is trying to encourage local participation but the views of residents, businesses and of the parish plan don’t seem to be important to our district council – they should have the courtesy to take notice and reply.

We also hope that Barratt will voluntarily change the plans or delay them to engage in a real consultation with local residents and businesses. We ask them to listen to the views expressed; so far they have held just one consultation over two days in April 2012.

Since then, the local community has heard nothing from them.

The contact point regarding protests against the proposed development is vwoodward@eif4cast.com.

Vivian Woodward

Fleetwood Caravan Neighbourhood Group

Long Melford