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Matthew Hancock
Your Local MP

Yearly chance to speak up lasts just ten minutes

Wednesday, 26th May 2010.

Haverhill's annual town public meeting was over in ten minutes last night as only one member of the public had any comment to make about town issues.

The single contribution was, however, a heartfelt plea from a resident of Calford Green that future development should not be allowed to overwhelm the fields between there and Haverhill.

Under recent proposals in the draft local development plan core startegy, some 2,500 homes could be built in north-east Haverhill by 2031.

Barbara Surridge told the meeting she had been a head teacher in Basingstoke, which had undergone overspill development, and had visited a variety of other overspill towns in the course of her subsequent work with schools.

"I found there was a direct correlation between schools in towns which had not grown at a sustainable rate," she said.

She urged that if further development was to come to Haverhill planners should look at adequate periods of integration.

"I would urge that the town doesn't grow too quickly and that it should retain its market town character," she said.

"We still have travel writers who write things like 'Next we come to Haverhill - if we must', because of its 'overspill' reputation, and it is important for the town to lose that tag."

She also pointed out Calford Green was only two fields from the edge of Haverhill, but the countryside between was much valued.

"The footpath is very much walked and very much respected," she said. "We have people who go there to photograph the sunset and painters who come there to paint."

The town mayor invited comment from Haverhill Town Councillors, but none had any to make.

As none of the few other members of the public present had any issues to raise, the meeting was closed after just ten minutes.

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