‘A recipe for disaster’ – Concerns over plans to build 280 new homes

Hopkins Homes plan to build 280 new homes in Beccles. Image courtesy of Hopkins Homes.

Hopkins Homes plan to build 280 new homes in Beccles. Image courtesy of Hopkins Homes. - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised over plans to build 280 new homes in Beccles with residents fearing it will increase the strain on the town’s infrastructure and worsen existing traffic dilemmas.

Hopkins Homes proposal for the land west of London Road will include public open space, a children’s play area and new pedestrian and cycle routes.

The developers hosted a drop-in consultation last month to provide residents the opportunity to discuss plans and provide feedback.

In a letter to this newspaper Alan Hall, who lives in London Road and attended the meeting, expressed his reservations about the project.

He said: “The proposal suggests the main entrance to the new estate will be located directly opposite the shared driveway of my neighbours.

“The A145 at this point is a busy road, being the main route for traffic flow to and from Beccles to the A12, and is a through route for Brampton and Ringsfield schools, in addition to a route for Sir John Leman School in Beccles.

“It is plainly obvious that the proposed entrance will greatly increase the probability that someone will be seriously hurt, or even worse.

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“If constructed, the tailbacks that would ensue for residents trying to turn into properties on London Road and the very busy veterinary service would be very frustrating and a recipe for disaster.”

Fellow London Road resident Peter Crane added: “The proposed further 280 homes will mean again a further increase in the volume of traffic.

“Children and the elderly regularly cross the road with the children going and coming from school and the road is very narrow where the proposed entrance is planned to be sighted.

“Where we live is a potentially dangerous road as vehicles regularly speed well past the thirty mile limit.

“Although it is the intention to make London Road a B-road from an A-road, this will not stop an increase in traffic along it.”

Others fear the development could have a detrimental impact of the town’s character.

Joan Wright said: “I have lived in Beccles all my life and am proud of our historical heritage and market town and I, and many others, do not want to see it ruined by over development.”

Developer’s response

Robert Eburne, director of planning at Hopkins Homes, explained the consultation provided “really useful feedback” and the developers “are now looking at all the public responses including comments around traffic and congestion”.

He added: “Waveney District Council’s policies require the new development to be accessed via London Road and we are now developing detailed access plans in dialogue with the local highway authority to address these points.

“The Southern Bypass will also be fully operational before our development takes place, which will lead lighter traffic on the roads surrounding the site.

“The development will be supported by transport analysis to help to alleviate issues raised by local residents.”

The proposals include bungalows, one and two-bedroom homes and a variety of family homes.

And affordable homes will make up 30pc of the proposed development in line with Waveney District Council’s (WDC) planning.

If plans are approved the development will generate around £1.7m in Community Infrastructure Levy which can be used by WDC and Beccles Town Council.