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Matthew Hancock
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Feedback on Plans for Growth in Haverhill

Monday, 16th February 2009.

More than 400 people have given their views on the borough’s future planning during an extensive consultation designed to shape the development of St Edmundsbury over the next 20 years.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council received nearly 3,100 representations from 411 individuals and organisations during the latest nine-week consultation on the Core Strategy which forms part of the new Local Development Framework (LDF). The consultation invited people to comment on how and where the borough will grow to provide, amongst other things, new homes, jobs, schools, health, leisure and community facilities and the future locations of major development sites.

St Edmundsbury’s preferred option suggests that around 20% of these homes should be built in the villages, with 40% in Bury St Edmunds and a further 40% in Haverhill. The latest consultation asked for views on three potential sites for growth in Haverhill, which lie to the north, west and north-eastern edges of the town.

The majority of those who responded highlighted 150 hectares of land close to the A1307 on the western side of town as their preferred choice, with 85 hectares to the north, near Withersfield Road, proving the least popular. Reactions to the third site, which spans 170 hectares of land beyond Chalkstone Way and Samuel Ward Upper School, were evenly balanced, with 12 responses in support and 15 objecting.

Cllr Terry Clements, portfolio holder for transport and planning, said:
“We would like to thank everyone who gave their time to feedback their views about how the borough should develop in the future. We were extremely pleased with the number of responses we received and will look carefully at all of these views when we draw up our final proposals for the future shape of the borough later in the spring.

“This vitally important piece of work is helping us to plan for the needs of the current and next generations, so it is essential we get it right. Although there will still be challenges to overcome, we are determined to make sure the final plan provides the best possible solutions for the whole of the borough.”

As part of the consultation, St Edmundsbury held drop in sessions at local libraries, gave presentations to parishes, issued leaflets through supermarkets and hosted focus groups and community discussions. Around 140 people also commented through the council’s website.

Organisations such as the Highways Agency, Suffolk Preservation Society, Natural England, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency and Anglian Water, as well as local town and parish councils, were also asked for their views. They were invited to comment on specific issues, such as sustainability, employment and the demand extra homes would place on infrastructure and services – all of which must be taken into account as part of the LDF process.

The results will now be discussed by the council’s Sustainable Development Panel on 10 February before a final strategy is drawn up for further consultation after Easter.

The full results of the consultation are available by visiting www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk and clicking on Planning Services.
See below:

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