Excessive Development – Can We Cope?

Growth is a key strategic priority – encouraged by financial rewards from Central Government – but can the infrastructure cope? Our roads are already at bursting point, especially at rush hour. If you live in Pinewood there are limited exit points – the Holiday Inn junction and the roundabout at Tescos. In the morning it can take 20 to 30 minutes to get out of the Parish, so what will the impact be of planned new developments and should there be a point at which we say enough is enough?

After years of inactivity – Suffolk One was the last major development – we are now faced with a glut of applications:

> Chantry Vale (on land behind the Holiday Inn) – 350 houses and 70 businesses with exits opposite the Hadleigh Road traffic lights on the A1071;

> Belstead House and Meadows – 155 houses and a 65 bedroom care home;

> Belstead School – doubling in size;

> ‘Fred Olsen’ site – 200 to 300 office block;

> 24 hour veterinary unit;

> Aldi store next to Suffolk One;

> Sugar Beet site – possibly hundreds of houses and many businesses.

If all of these go ahead we could be looking at an additional 4,000 vehicle movements per day – mainly at the busy periods. Surely this is madness and we have to start saying no to some of those developments listed above. Is it right that the last one(s) to apply should be penalised? This could be a problem as the likely latest ones are already in our Strategic Plan. Surely we have to be more proactive than that but will we get the support for this approach from the Inspectors should any refused application be refused. You would like to think so but I just don’t think that we are good at seeing the bigger picture.

Watch the ever shrinking space!


Bodies Beautiful

DSCN0106It was a strange experience watching both men and women strut their stuff in various states of undress at the O2 the other weekend. Quite frankly after you’ve seen one body you’ve seen them all, but the event lasted for 5 hours. I was there to support my son, Dominic – pictured – who was competing in the Professional category of the European Fitness Model Championships. Having won in Iceland in 2012 he was hopeful of a win on home soil but the competition was ‘stiff’ with the runner-up from the World Champs in Las Vegas eventually taking the European crown. Dominic was a creditable third, though he was disappointed with this.

On the Sunday he took us to a so-called must place to go for breakfast – The Breakfast Club near Liverpool Street Station (though there are others). Now I’m not the best at queueing and having to wait outside the restaurant for an hour for my breakfast wasn’t something I would normally stand for but “it will be worth it”! Based on an American diner, the place was packed. The food was great too but having been up for 5 hours I would have eaten anything – still it delayed Christmas shopping on Oxford Street!