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North-west development and new road set for approval

Friday, 30th May 2014.

Planners are all set to give the go-ahead to an outline proposal for the final piece in the Gibberd Masterplan for Haverhill created in 1971 - over 100 acres providing over 1,100 new homes.

The site, known as North-west Haverhill, would complete the expanded town as envisaged by Sir Frederick Gibberd in his masterplan over 40 years ago.

It includes a completion of the north-west relief road, linking the A143 Bury road with the A1307 Cambridge Road, although the alignment of that was changed nearly a decade ago so that it no longer emerges into the end of Ann Suckling Road, but at a roundabout near the Fox pub (former Rising Sun).

This allows for more housing to be built, and spreads the development, which already edges into the parish of Withersfield, a little further into Little Wratting.

The applications cover construction of a relief road, associated works and a landscape buffer. residential development, a primary school, a local centre including retail and community uses, public open space, landscaping, infrastructure, servicing and other associated works.

Controversially, the plan due to be approved by St Edmundsbury Borough Council's development control committee next week, allows a period of five years for the road to be completed.

There had been pressure for planners to ensure the road was built before any more houses went up, but at the Vision 2031 planning inquiry, the inspector accepted this was not realistic and would reduce other community elements required in the plan because of the required outlay from developers before any return.

The applicants, the North-West Haverhill Consortium of Landowners, have carried out various public consultation exercises during the years of preparation of thge plans, and adjusted elements in response to comments.

There is broad support for the plans now from Haverhill Town Council, the parishes and from the agencies consulted with regard to such issues as wildlife, open space, archaeology, environmental health, etc.

Haverhill Chamber of Commerce has expressed disappointment the road is not to be built first and ask that the borough or county council invest in the road and claim the money back later from the developers.

But planners say the Cangle junction, which had been a sticking point as far as the effect on traffic flows went until five years ago, was now, since the Tesco re-alignment, capable of taking the required pressure.

Neighbours still raise a wide variety of concerns including traffic noise, building heights, loss of amenities, but a report to next week's meeting says the site represents an important elements of the plans to accommodate future housing needs in the town.

It concludes that the outline application, which is informed by an adopted concept statement and masterplan, should be approved, subject to a long list of conditions which relate to the building of the roadand to a variety of studies which will have to be completed before detailed planning permission could be considered.

Haverhill Online News

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