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Haverhill councillors angry at being ‘ignored’ over Great Wilsey Park development

Proposed development site for Great Wilsey Park
Proposed development site for Great Wilsey Park

Town councillors are hoping their comments will not be ‘brushed to one side’ when the amended Great Wilsey Park development for North East Haverhill is considered.

Bidwells, on behalf of applicant Hallam Land Management, has revised its outline plans for the controversial 2,500-home development in Little Wratting, which will also include two primary schools, two local centres and a country park.

The amendments, which follow concerns from a number of organisations including the Kedington Action Group, Highways England and Suffolk Wildlife Trust, include additional planting, and a contribution towards a 3G pitch ‘should planning permission be forthcoming’.

But Haverhill Town Council’s planning committee has ‘strongly objected’ to the new plans and say none of members’ previous concerns have been addressed.

Cllr Pat Hanlon, planning chairman, said members decided unanimously to ‘strongly object’ to the application last week because they were ‘angry’ their concerns had been ‘completely ignored’.

“We just want to get it right for the people of Haverhill,” he said.

Among members’ concerns is a site access and traffic light system planned for Chalkstone Way which they would like moved to opposite Millfields Way to disperse traffic and avoid further congestion.

Cllr Hanlon added: “We hope the borough negotiates with the developers to try and get what the people of Haverhill and the councillors of Haverhill want and not just brush them to one side because it’s our town and we want to represent the people of the town so it’s right for them as a whole and for the people who move there in the future.”

Cllr Tony Brown said: “They’ve done some soft stuff, minor tweaks, but the big stuff we asked for as a town council, they’ve totally ignored.”

He said with the Haverhill Business Park currently being constructed and a large project starting soon on the eastern side of town, not getting the north-west relief road built at any early stage will be the biggest failure ‘because most of the traffic from this [Great Wilsey] development will be heading out towards Cambridge in the morning and back again in the evening’.

He said it would be ‘very difficult’ to get to Wratting Road and Withersfield Road, both of which are narrow roads, and stressed that the latter was of particular concern because its pollution levels were already high and would be exacerbated by the increase in traffic.

“I welcome the town’s expansion, people need somewhere to live, but we want the borough council and county council to actually invest in the infrastructure we need to support this extra house expansion and we don’t think they are,” he said.

Bidwells was unavailable for comment.

A consultation on the application is due to end on July 8. Search DC/15/2151/OUT on the planning portal at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk

It is expected to go before St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Development Control Committee late summer.

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