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How to squeeze more homes into villages

Wednesday, 3rd March 2010.

Proposals for where new homes could be built in rural St Edmundsbury have been published today, prior to the start of public consultation on April 12.

A total of 10,000 new homes will be needed in St Edmundsbury in the next 20 years, according to the East of England Regional Spatial Strategy.

In order to deliver this housing in a sustainable and co-ordinated way, St Edmundsbury Borough Council is working on a Local Development Framework, which proposes that 40 per cent of the development is in Bury St Edmunds, 40 per cent in Haverhill and the remaining 20 per cent, amounting to some 1,127 homes, in the rural areas.

A report going to councillors on the sustainable development panel on Tuesday, March9, explains how these homes could be spread out.

Cllr Terry Clements, cabinet member for planning said: “More homes are needed to meet local needs in rural areas and we have to ensure that they are delivered in a sustainable and timely way.

"The availability of community infrastructure, such as schools, employment and local services, is going to be a key factor.

"This infrastructure is best developed in our larger rural communities (Key Service Centres) which could take up to 850 new homes.

"The next largest villages (Local Service Centres) also need growth to sustain their current services and help them prosper, and they could share around 280 new homes.

"The only other homes proposed would be in ‘infill villages’, where people can apply for infill sites, such as side gardens, as usual.”

The report details the sites that have been put forward, either by landowners, developers or planning officers, for future development. Unless they are adopted into the Local Development Framework, they cannot be used for houses.

Cllr Clements added: “Local people know their own villages and are in a position to give us valuable feedback on the proposals.

"Although the plans are publicly available now, there is a month until the public consultation starts on 12 April. This gives time for the information to be printed and prepared.

"There will be a number of events, including local drop-in sessions when residents can come along and talk to planning officers in person about the detail of the proposals. I hope as many people as possible will participate in this fundamental work.”

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