Foldgate Road housing – notes on a public meeting

Many thanks to Councillor Viv Parry for organising a public meeting this afternoon on plans for up to 150 houses off Foldgate Lane. More than 60 people attended, mostly neighbours and near neighbours of the proposed development.

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The meeting was called to allow residents to air views and explain how the planning process works from hereon.

A good number of issues were raised.

The sewers already struggle to cope. The drainage from the Tuffins/Squirrel development which runs at the back of Greenacres overflows violently in stormy conditions. Concerns were raised about the stability of the railway line in flooding events.

The infrastructure of the town, GPs, schools and roads cannot cope with continued expansion.

Foldgate Lane is a haven for wildlife, including bats. Although the developers plan to keep traffic off the lane, its character and environmental qualities are bound to be eroded by the development. There are badger sets in the fields.

There were great fears that the proposal of 150 homes would be increased, doubled or more by the eventual developer.

The main access to the site from the A49 – a T-junction – would be unsafe. There was concern that the landowner, though not apparently the developer, wants access either by a road or a path from Greenacres through an existing property.

On a show of hands, six people said they favoured some sort of development on the Foldgate Lane site; everyone else opposed any development at all.

I attended as an observer and to explain the planning process. I cannot take a view on this application until it comes before the South Planning Committee of which I am a member.