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Inappropriate large housing plans causing me growing concern

PUBLISHED: 19:21 14 July 2017

Public exhibition on plans for up to 300 homes in Rendlesham. Picture: TOM POTTER

Public exhibition on plans for up to 300 homes in Rendlesham. Picture: TOM POTTER

Archant

Undoubtedly, the best part of my week is coming home to Suffolk on a Thursday evening and leaving behind all of the stresses and pressures of a week in Parliament, not to mention the congestion of London.

Returning home makes me really appreciate all that is special about this county – its rural character, great sense of community spirit and vibrant market towns. Indeed only a few weeks ago, I was delighted to come together with my fellow Parliamentary colleagues from Suffolk to celebrate the first ever Suffolk Day.

Here in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, we are incredibly lucky to have a number of bustling market towns, all surrounded by rolling countryside and Suffolk’s famous wide-open skies. With such a vibrant, growing economy, and outstanding transport links, it’s no wonder that so many major businesses and small rural start-ups are choosing to make Suffolk their home.

However, I am becoming increasingly concerned about some of the inappropriately large planning applications that are being submitted to our local council planning committees.

One of the reasons that so many of us choose to live in Suffolk is because of its rural heritage and our beautiful countryside, and whilst we would all agree that we need an appropriate level of small scale development and affordable homes to help support young families to continue to live and work in Suffolk, none of us wants to see our countryside destroyed by inappropriate over-development.

Planning is, of course, a local matter decided by our local councils and when deciding planning policy, where there should be new businesses and homes, it’s important that our local councils take an evidence-based approach, and always prioritise brownfield sites over building on the countryside. That is why it is so important for our local councils to make sure they have a local development framework and land supply plan in place, to discourage inappropriate development.

I will continue to work closely with our local councillors to ensure that we protect the rural nature and integrity of Suffolk’s towns and villages and will always stand up for the best interests of local residents in fighting inappropriate planning applications.

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