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Village could become town as nearly 1,000 homes in Thurston recommended for APPROVAL by council

PUBLISHED: 14:17 23 June 2017

Thurston village sign. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Thurston village sign. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Nearly 1,000 homes, which could “severely” hamper local infrastructure, have been recommended for approval in a central Suffolk village.

Five separate planning applications for Thurston will be decided at one planning committee meeting, with a range of major concerns around how roads, schools and GP surgeries will cope.

The village population of around 3,300 could increase by around 75% if the homes went ahead, despite having no GP surgery or health centre.

In their objections, Thurston Parish Councillors called on Mid Suffolk District Council to consider the “cumulative” impact of all five applications.

They said: “The speed of the submission of the applications in Thurston and the amount of dwellings proposed between the five undetermined applications and the Granary site will result in Thurston losing its ‘village feel’ and for it to become ‘a small dormitory town’.

“Congestion of the local highway network already exists and these schemes will make the situation worse and will cause more accidents.”

The parish council listed a wide range of issues, including impact on local GP surgeries, such as Ixworth, Moreton Hall and Woolpit.

The applications are all submitted by separate developers, with Hopkins Homes for 175 houses off Sandpit Lane, 138 from Bovis Homes on Barton Road, 200 and a school on Norton Road from Pigeon, 250 and a primary school from Persimmon Homes on Ixworth Road and 64 from Laurence Homes, off Norton Road. More than 100 homes on the Granary Site, off Station Road, already have permission.

Suffolk County Council highways admitted the impact on several junctions will be “severe”, pushing some roads past their “theoretical limit”. They did not object, instead asking for developer contributions to help redesign the affected areas.

The NHS said they will require an undisclosed sum to make improvements to the GP surgeries in Woolpit and Moreton Hall, rejecting calls for a new surgery in the village.

Mid Suffolk have failed to meet housing targets, meaning neighbouring A14 villages of Elmswell, Woolpit and Stowupland are all facing more than 1,000 homes between them.

Developers only have to prove there plans meet the national planning policy “sustainability” test, with local planning policy largely ignored.

The planning committee is set to meet at the Needham Market offices at 1pm on July 12.

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