if you’ve followed the debate over 500 homes planned for Kennett, here’s some of the comments from speakers at the planning committee
- Credit: Archant
Objections were raised by representatives from Newmarket Town Council and the Newmarket Horsemen’s Group who cited severe traffic problems and adverse impact to horse crossings as being their main concerns.
A representative from Newmarket Town Council said: “We are concerned that there will be major implications on the highways network.
“That is way we rejected the proposals.”
Nicky Parsons, from the Newmarket Horsemen’s Group, said: “You need to be aware that the application has failed to address issues giving rise to significant traffic impact.
“Roads in Suffolk will be strongly affected because the number of vehicles has been underestimated.
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“There will be an impact on all who live, work and visit Newmarket and there will be adverse impact to horse crossings.
“You don’t need to be a highways engineer to realise if there are already traffic problems this will only add to it.”
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Terry Frost, from the Kennett Action Group, said the scheme was full of “fear mongering and misinformation.”
“These plans have failed to meet several of the criteria for new developments,” he said.
“This has attracted strong opposition and lacks the community spirit that is required by the local plan.
“It is in the public domain that this development is critical to the East Cambs Trading Company.”
Joanna Reeks, from Dane Hill Farm, which is included in the application site, welcomed proposals.
She said: “We have been part of the area for over 80 years and had a farm since the 1970s.
“We all live within a few minutes of the site and feel that we are in a unique location.
“We feel that this is a development that we could be proud of and have actively been involved in the preparation of the site since day one.
“This will not just be another housing estate but will have a distinctive rural character.
“It will be an inspirational place where people will want to live.”
Lynne McCallum, from the Kennett Community Land Trust (KCLT) echoed Ms Reek’s points, saying the garden village would be a “safe and positive environment”.
However, Kennett Parish Cllr Anthony French said the “identity of the village would be lost”.
He added: “It is a small, rural village and the villagers enjoy that and this would have a huge impact on noise and disturbance.
“There would be a significant effect on this village from major issues with traffic problems, a bottleneck getting away from the village and the sheer size of the proposal swamps the village.”
Ward councillors Julia Huffer and Joshua Schumann also recommended the build for approval, stating it was a sustainable development that would benefit the village in the future.
Cllr Huffer said: “The Kennett Action Group is a small group who represent the voice of a few.
“Kennett is a lovely village but if you are unable to drive you are dependant on public transport.
“When I asked a 72-year-old man who lives in the village what he felt about the homes he said he would welcome them.
“This is a unique opportunity that offers so much to the community.
“There is actually a lot of community spirit, and although I do understand the concerns felt by some residents; this will actually demonstrate quality housing for local people for many years to come.”
Cllr Josh Schumann said: “This is a new settlement and should be considered as such but it should not be feared.”
After a debate which lasted just under an hour, vice chair Cllr Mike Rouse said he felt the site would “enhance” the area.
He said: “I am under no illusions that this will be a massive change for Kennett but this is an infrastructure development.
“This will see a new school and affordable housing which I believe will create a sustainable development.”
“This is an infrastructure led development that will
Cllr David Chaplin agreed, saying: “I feel a lot of the negative comments have been grasping at straws and don’t seem real.
“It is the right thing to do to improve the area.
“This will be a magnificent settlement and add great value to the village.”
However, Independent Cllr Derrick Beckett echoed the sentiment of campaigners, saying: “I am not convinced that the majority of the village want this.
“There are a lot of aspirations and it looks good but I am not sure if it is realistic.
“Kennett will be gone; it will be no more – it will be totally different. I don’t feel that this village is the right place for this development.
“The majority of Kennett will still have all these traffic problems and added pollution by having three roundabouts.
“Community spirit is what I am struggling to get my head around. CLTs are good in the right place where they are community led but this is a new village not a CLT.
“I am not sure I can actually support this when I don’t believe it is in the right place.”
Cllr Sue Austen, who abstained during the vote, said: “There are a lot of gaps in this application that I feel aren’t really filled in.
“I am concerned that residents don’t actually want it.”
Cllr Stuart Smith said: “I like the fact that the infrastructure would be going in during the early stages.
“This development would take traffic away and I believe it would be community led.
“I have not seen overwhelming objections to it.”