Residents raise concerns over development consultation

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Residents have raised concerns that they have not been adequately consulted on plans for a large development in Haverhill.

People in the village of Kedington have criticised the consultation process for the North East Haverhill Development in Great Wilsey Park, which will encroach on the village.

A meeting was held on Tuesday, June 16, where residents were urged to register their concerns about the 2,500 -home development.

Resident Paul Davis, who lives in Mill Road, Kedington, is a member of the action group formed to oppose the Wilsey Park development.

He believes the consultation document was only circulated to about one third of the properties in Kedington and “some of the people who became aware of this have become rather annoyed.”

Villagers are also unhappy, he added, that no public consultation event has been, or will be staged in Kedington, and that only two such events have been held, both in Haverhill.

He said: “We are just trying to get a voice and say that we are not happy about this and the fact that it’s been steamrollered through. We’ve not really got brilliant information unfortunately.

“It looks as if the development is going to be visible from outside the ridge of the hill between here and Haverhill.

“The claim seems to have been that it won’t be seen properly from Kedington, although it’s all on Kedington land. It’s just the general impact upon the village that we are concerned about.”

A petition against the development was started at Kedington Meadowlark on Saturday, where it was signed by more than 170 people.

Sally Adlen from Hallam Land Management, which is developing the site, however, said there had been ample opportunity to access and comment on the plans during the consultation process.

She said: “This site has been identified by St Edmundsbury Borough Council as capable of delivering a Sustainable Urban Extension of around 2,500 homes over the next 20 years.

“We are now consulting on a Masterplan for the site which responds to that allocation and which in turn will lead onto a planning application in due course.

“The consultation has been running for six weeks and we’ve had a great response at via the freepost flyers which were sent to local residents, via a dedicated website and at our consultation events. The proposals can still be viewed on the website and have taken into account the feedback given to the council during its consultations over the last eight years.”

A spokesman for Hallam Land Management wanted to address residents’ concerns, and pointed out that, in some incidences, new developments increased the value of existing properties and that hedgerows and ditches would be protected, which would encourage biodiversity in the area. The consultation ends tomorrow (June 19), but is open to last-minute input. People can have their say at or via the parish council.