Homes scheme needs new road

Cllr Tony Brown  ENGANL00520131216180952
Cllr Tony Brown ENGANL00520131216180952

Councillors and business leaders say a £7.6 million relief road should be put in place at the same time or before 1,100 new homes are built on land north west of Haverhill.

The new homes, together with a new primary school, shops and community facilities, were approved by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development committee on Thursday.

The 106-acre greenfield development, to the west of Wratting Road, is part of the town’s strategic growth plans. Haverhill’s population is expected to expand from 27,000 to 37,000 over the next 15 years, with 6,000 new homes needed.

But although new homes plan have been welcomed, the length of time being given to developers to complete a relief road - five years – is being criticised because of traffic worries.

County councillor Tony Brown said he objected to the development on the grounds that the new road – providing a link between the A134 Wratting/Haverhill Road to the east and to the A1307 Withersfield Road to the west – is not being built before the homes go up.

“It makes sense to get it built - with interest rates probably rising, it will be cheaper now rather than waiting five years later. We do not want the endless inconvenience of traffic problems at that end of the town,” he said.

Paul Donno, Haverhill Chamber of Commerce president, said members were also concerned the relief road will not be delivered before the development. “Our worry is that, by not doing it, it will bring congestion to the town.”

Roger Maidment, chairman of Little Wratting parish council, said he was disappointed and hoped the council could be lobbied to build the road at the same time as the houses.

He said he hoped it would be possible to have the road constructed at the time the housing development takes place.