Eye residents voice concerns over major residential development plans

Eye, Suffolk. Pegasus are holding a exhibition into a proposed new build of unto 290 homes in Eye ANL-141012-161756001
Eye, Suffolk. Pegasus are holding a exhibition into a proposed new build of unto 290 homes in Eye ANL-141012-161756001

Eye residents have expressed their concern over a development which could see up to 290 new homes built in the town.

The potential plans are part of the Mid Suffolk District Council Core Strategy, from 2008, when at least 200 homes were allocated on the land north west of the town, with Pegasus Homes working on behalf of the land owner. A planning application is yet to be submitted.

A meeting was held in Eye Town Hall earlier this month, attended by more than 110 residents.

Peter Gould, councillor for strategic planning at Eye Town Council who chaired the meeting, said: “I think it is a common view that it is recognised that some development is essential for the town to have a sustainable future,” he said. “People have a range of rational concerns because building houses is the easy part. It is about making sure it is in keeping with the character of the town, and that the schools can cope with the numbers, and the health centre is not going to be overrun, the drains can cope, and the traffic will not become impossible.”

District councillor Charles Flatman called a public vote in the meeting, which he said went “overwhelmingly in favour of opposing the application”.

“I am not opposed to the building of houses there but what I am opposed to is the size of the project,” he said.

A spokesperson for Mid Suffolk District Council said the plans were at a “very early stage”, and a planning application “was not imminent”, and added adopted planning policies seek to secure up to 35 per cent affordable housing provision on new housing sites.

Eye residents Geoffrey Randall and Caroline Pickering, who have more than 75 years of experience in the housing trade, expressed their concerns to the town council last year about the lack of information on affordable housing at an exhibition of the plans late last year.

Mr Randall said Mid Suffolk’s stance to try and deliver 35 per cent affordable housing was “welcome”, but said when he posed the question to Pegasus, he received a “noncommittal” answer.

“I think the pressure should now be on Pegasus,” he said. “They know what Mid Suffolk District Council want and what the people need. Whatever the size of the development a reasonable proportion should meet a range of needs and the reason we are saying 35 per cent is that has been Mid Suffolk District Council policy for that size of development for a number of years.”

The Diss Express contacted Pegasus but did not receive a response.