Developer seeks residents’ views over proposal to build 80 homes

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A housing developer is preparing to hold a public exhibition into proposals to build 80 homes on the outskirts of Long Melford.

Southsea Properties is proposing to build on land north of Ropers Lane on Rodbridge Hill.

It is holding the exhibition at The Old School, Long Melford, on December 15, from 4pm to 8pm.

The consultation is intended to inform and seek views from interested parties before an amended planing application is submitted in 2015.

In the past, residents have raised concerns over the increased demand placed on roads and traffic by large-scale housing developments.

Richard Kemp, county councillor for Long Melford, said the development would see a large number of houses on an area which has laid derelict for a number of years.

“I think the concerns of the people in the area are the number of properties proposed, the overlooking problems that might occur and the loss of an area that harbours wildlife,” he said.

“I think the developers should try to maleate people’s fears by putting a realistic number of houses, rather than an overpopulation of the area.”

He encouraged the developer to carry out a full survey in order to assess the ecological value of the site, which has recently provided an undisturbed home to wildlife.

Mr Kemp said the infrastructure needs to improve if the development gets the green light.

“If you are going to put all these houses in the village, you have got to expect some improvement on the infrastructure to support the people who already live here,” he said.

“You have got to look at the impact on the existing inadequate infrastructure and the drainage systems.

“It puts a lot of pressure on a village in one fell swoop.”

This latest proposal is one of four ongoing bids for housing by different developers in Long Melford and the surrounding areas, which could put strain on the village.

Housing developers are looking to build on the former Fleetwood Caravans site as well as Chilton Woods and Stafford Park in Liston.

Mr Kemp said Long Melford was a key centre for development in the county, with a population which is expected to expand by 10 per cent.

Outline planning permission for the site was submitted to Babergh District Council by Southsea Properties in March of this year. A planning application will be submitted next year.