New vision for town includes vast 'community' to the north-east
Wednesday, 1st February 2012.
The first draft of Haverhill Vision 2031, the planning framework for the town over the next 20 years, has been unveiled, showing in detail where large housing expansion is to take place.
The plan envisages over 4,000 new homes (the town currently has around 10,000 households), and most of them will be in a giant 'community' called Great Wilsey Park.
Approached via a tree-lined avenue from Wratting Road beyond the Fox (formerly Rising Sun), the development will fill the valley in from there across to Coupals Road, although there will be no controversial north-eastern bypass as the roads will be arranged to prevent rat-running.
Two alternative options have been discounted, one sticking to the Little Wratting end but extending much further along the A143, and the other sticking to the Coupals Road end but joining up with Calford Green.
This development would only start once the current north-western development, including the north-west bypass, has been completed.
Other sites identified for housing include redundant school sites at Westfield Primary and Chalkstone Middle, the gas works in Withersfield Road, the former Atterton and Ellis works and Hamlet Croft.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council planners say the draft document, on which public consultation runs from the beginning of March to the end of April, has been put together taking into account the views put forward by the public at last year's major consultation exercise.
However, despite the 40 per cent increase in the size of the town envisaged, and the acknowledgement that transport links to other places are poor, the council appears to have almost given up on improving them.
Most of the section on transport deals with cross-town footpaths and cycle ways, and green transport initiatives to discourage car journeys.
The poor link to Cambridge, which was the third most commented upon issue in last year's consultation, is almost ignored, apart from a commitment to 'lobby' for a better link to Cambridge, contained in the section on jobs and businesses.
This is despite the statistic that nearly 50 per cent of Haverhill residents commute to work elsewhere, nearly all along the A1307, with less than two per cent travelling to Bury St Edmunds.
The document, which runs to 100 pages, will be available to view on line during the consultation, and at events and displays in the town.
Only comments received during the consultation period can be accepted, as members of the public found when they attended last week's meeting of Haverhill Area Working Party and were not able to give their views because it has not started yet.
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