Update – objections shown by SCDC as "Comments"

The consultation period on SCDC’s proposed planning framework for the district ended on January 23rd.  Based on the Council’s own statistics, 1880 representations were received.  Of these, only 66, approx 3.5%, expressed support for the Council’s plans to allocate 2000 houses at Adastral Park, 1018 registered as objections.  Despite this level of opposition, certain members of the Council are still determined to drive these plans through.

NANT has identified that the planning department do not have a robust process to handle the categorising the responses when uploading them on to the computer.  We discovered that many individual “objections” had been mislabelled as neutral “comments”.  The result is an inaccurate weighting of public opinion in the report that is presented to Councillors.  (Even so, there were 1018 registered “objections”).  Some individuals have been able to change this mislabelling by contacting the planning department but there are still many “comments” that quite clearly were written as “objections”.  This is being challenged through our solicitor.  You can view your response on Suffolk Coastal’s website.

In the meantime we need to continue to try and persuade the Council to vote against this housing allocation.  With the help of our 4 local councillors we are actively lobbying all the Councillors from across the District.

Our solicitor has advised us that the Council does not appear to have followed the appropriate procedures leading up to the adoption of the Core Strategy in respect of its duties under the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive and the Habitats Directive.  This opinion formed part of the NANT response.  We will be pursuing this argument with the councillors along with our other major concerns regarding gridlock on the Orwell Bridge, the housing “need” and the appalling lack of local community engagement by the Council.

One of the key areas highlighted in the representations was the fact that the Orwell Bridge already is predicted to reach capacity by 2014 – this is without the additional 3000+ cars that would be generated if the huge housing estate at Martlesham goes ahead.  You will be delighted to hear that there is a suggestion to prohibit local traffic on the bridge, forcing local people through the centre of Ipswich!!!.  There is no other plan in place to prevent gridlock on the A14.  As the major trunk road of the region, this will have a disastrous impact on the very businesses that the Council purports to want to support – never mind the greater economy of the district.

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