The dramatic lead story (Chilton Woods set for £1.6m windfall, Free Press, November 7) revealing that Suffolk County Council had decided to spend some of its taxpayers contributions on “paving the way” for its key project of changing our corner of Suffolk into the next Braintree, certainly caught my eye.
Despite there not being key road links here or the infrastructure to support an additional 3,000 people (at the very least), we learn that the council is going to use public funds to help secure a deal after two failed ventures with major developers.
This news came in the same week that it was announced that many councils are going to increase council tax bills next year, despite being asked not to by the Government.
The rhetoric used in the article by all those supporting the scheme made the reporting so very unbalanced.
As much as the council spokeswoman and the parish councillors use all the enthusiastic buzz words and insist we have been consulted, so everyone must be happy with the area changing, I can assure you that is not the case.
People originally came to Sudbury for its beautiful market town status. Huge amounts of housing have gone up in and around Sudbury and Great Cornard over the last 15 years, in fact it has never stopped.
With People’s Park, Carsons Drive and Walnuttree schemes in the planning stages, it does not appear to be ending any time soon.
What bothers folk most is that any protest would be futile, as the council (being the owner of the land) ultimately gives itself permission.
In any other scenario, to have one party with such a vested interest would be decidedly whiffy. To stifle debate, the usual sentiments are mooted, in this case the “affordable housing” carrot.
The council could hardly say it wanted to build unaffordable housing, could it? These are only 157 of the number, if I have done my sums correctly, at the official 15 per cent recommended of an estate this size.
Of course, the majority of the hundreds of other houses put up over the last decade have been priced way beyond the reach of the earners of the average wage, and in reality there will be little from Chilton Woods to help them.
The chances are that if this huge housing behemoth is divided up, it will still be the large national house builders that step in, so even that money won’t stay in the local community.
I predict, sadly, that many people in the area will sell up and move to a more rural location because Sudbury will certainly not fit into that category after the council has finished with it.
Of course, I am not representing the respective parish councillors in that because they will be keen to spend their retirement surrounded by – in the ominous words of Jenny Antill of Babergh – a “key development master plan”.