A campaign calling for a stop to further housing development in Long Melford is seeking 1,000 signatures, as the village prepares to respond to Babergh District Council’s draft local plan.
More than 850 people online and on paper have signed the petition started by resident Brian West. It argues that current developments would already place a big strain on infrastructure, and the village would not be able to cope if more homes were approved.
A public meeting was held at the village hall yesterday evening, where the parish council considered how it would respond to the district local plan, which has raised concerns that there could potentially be a large development earmarked for land behind Harefield Road and High Street.
Mr West, of Hall Street, said he started the petition to gauge the mood locally, and found, from everyone he had spoken to, there was a consensus which opposed the quantity and the location of many of these developments.
“No-one is against housing, but it has to be the right sort of housing and in the right place,” he said.
“We have got over 200 houses going ahead. We can’t stop that. If there’s any more, it will put such a strain on the infrastructure and the traffic. It’s ridiculous.
“A lot of it is about the pressure on the surgery and the local schools.
“A lot of these houses being developed are expensive, and not suitable for young people who live here.
“This is a historic village and I have spoken to people as far away as Australia who can’t believe how much it has changed.”
Richard Kemp, parish, district and county councillor for Long Melford, said while the council had to be careful with supporting petitions, he believed in general, the village had “enough large developments for the time being”.
Earlier this year, Long Melford Parish Council sought views for its own Neighbourhood Plan at public open days and through an online survey.
The council says the comments received have given them a strong idea of what people actually wanted from the village and how they saw it in future.
For the Neighbourhood Plan’s next stage, the council will be forming small working groups in the coming months to focus on issues like housing and traffic, which are expected to be addressed next year.
To view the petition, go online to https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/historical-long-melford-say-no-to-more-development.