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Brandon bypass plans receive approval

PUBLISHED: 09:45 24 September 2009 | UPDATED: 21:41 07 July 2010

A PROPOSED private finance deal which would see a new housing development help fund a long-awaited bypass in the west of the county has received approval from the majority of people questioned.

A PROPOSED private finance deal which would see a new housing development help fund a long-awaited bypass in the west of the county has received approval from the majority of people questioned.

A group of prominent landowners in and around the Suffolk town of Brandon earlier this summer revealed plans which would transform the town with up to 2,000 new homes and a bypass to the north and west.

Although there were a number of concerns voiced about the development at a recent public exhibition, new figures show that of 155 people who filled in a questionnaire, almost two thirds were in favour of the plans.

The private finance deal (PFI), by Brandon Landowners Consortium, is the third attempt in recent years to provide relief for traffic problems in the town centre.

The public exhibition, held during the last weekend of August, attracted between 300 and 400 people, 155 of which filled in a questionnaire relating to the proposals.

While 95pc of people asked, said they thought Brandon did have a traffic problem, a total of 58pc, voted in favour of the proposal and associated development, while 30pc voted against it.

An overwhelming 91pc thought the town would benefit from some form of bypass/relief/distributor road, and 60pc believed the scheme justified a larger number of homes than proposed in the local development framework.

Giles de Lotbiniere , consortium spokesman and prominent town businessman, said he was encouraged by the “overwhelmingly” positive response to the 20-year scheme.

He added: “There were concerns about the development which were understandable and I think particularly people were concerned they would get 2,000 houses before the road was built and therefore the problem would get worse before it got better.

“Of course, that's not the intention and if we can get money from the government that would hopefully get the road built as the first priority.”

Using funds generated from the sale of the new housing the developers would provide up to half of the £25m it is believed the bypass will cost.

Brandon has already been earmarked for 1,500 new houses under the Forest Heath District Council core strategy and the regeneration project would include an additional 350 homes in that area as well as 150 on the north side of the town in the Breckland district.

Mr de Lotbiniere added: “I was very pleased everyone thought there was a definite problem and 141 people thought it would benefit from a relief distributor road.

“It was encouraging there was that strength of feeling as it's a very emotive thing in Brandon.”

A second public exhibition will now be held in Weeting Village Hall on Saturday, October 31, between 12.15pm and 3pm.

An examination in public will now be held in December, or January, and a planning application is likely by the end of next year.

It is thought if planning permission is granted that work could begin in 2013.


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