Readers’ letters from this week’s Journal

The view of Becckes from the clock tower. Picture: Archant.

The view of Becckes from the clock tower. Picture: Archant. - Credit: Archant © 2012

Road hold-ups but no work!

So once again Beccles was brought to a standstill by the deployment of temporary traffic lights at the top of Station Road.

There was no apparent reason for this, no work ever started, no-one ever came near the site for four days.

On Monday, after a weekend of chaos, I decided to find the cause and made a few phone calls one being to Suffolk Highways who, judging by the disgraceful state of the roads in town, have no idea where Beccles is? After going from office to office they found someone in the Lowestoft office who thought “it was something to do with BT”.

My inquiries stopped there as trying to get any sense from a BT call centre is too awful to contemplate. I find it disappointing that not one of our local council, considering the inconvenience this caused, could find the time on behalf of Beccles people to sort this.



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All housing not a garden plan

Waveney have now published their Local Plan which outlines proposals for development for Waveney and part of that plan includes the 1,473 new homes for Worlingham and Beccles.

Considering this will have such a very high impact, the deadline for comments is quite short (ie September 22) which I fear will pass very quickly, as much of that time is during the holiday period. I hope this deadline will be extended so residents have time to properly assess the full impact of such proposals, especially as there appears to be some inaccuracies and contradictions in the Local Plan.

The area earmarked for development is right across the southern boundary from Ellough Road to the London Road and contradicts emerging Neighbourhood Plans.

Nearly 1,500 new homes can equate to around 5,000 people which could mean an increase in population of nearly 40%. It is worth noting that despite what has been stated, I understand that the population of Beccles and Worlingham has only increased by a small percentage over the last 20 years.

I’m not sure how the roads through Beccles are going to cope with the extra traffic the developments will create and remember, the Relief Road was proposed long before the Local Plan was conceived. I note also that neighbouring villages are also due to increase by 150 new homes (perhaps 400 people), no doubt they too would want to visit Beccles.

Waveney have named the proposals as a Garden Neighbourhood but as the density of housing is the same as a non-garden neighbourhood, I treat this with some scepticism.

I urge readers to view the Local Plan (it can be seen at and consider carefully what the impact will be and send your constructive comments to Waveney.



Plan will have a major effect

Through this letter I would like to add my voice in urging the residents of Beccles and Worlingham to take part in the public consultation currently taking place for the Waveney District Council Draft Local Plan. This plan sets out proposals for house building sites and the number of new houses to be built around our town and village.

The current proposals are for around 1,500 new builds over the next 18 years. These will have a major effect on our communities and substantially increase our population over the years ahead. Your opinions are very important and need to be heard.

The manned exhibition of the plans will be at Beccles Public Hall on Tuesday, August 8, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. The plans will also be on exhibition at Beccles Library from Monday 7 to Sunday, August 13 and again from Monday 4 to Sunday, September 10.


Waveney District Councillor

Beccles South Ward

Fundraiser was a sell-out!

There has been great feedback about the Gambian Fundraising Evening on Saturday, July 15, at Bungay’s own Fisher Theatre.

I want to thank Ben, Heidi, Cory, Cass, Marnie, the Dumisani Drummers, John and Angela, Kaya, the theatre volunteers and those who kindly attended and supported the event and those who made donations. Tickets were sold out on the day of the event.

The evening began with talks by myself about The Gambia and the school for which the money was being raised and also by Kaya Brown with her Ghana experiences as a VSO. After an interval the attendees were treated to authentic Gambian dishes cooked by a Gambian chef Cass and her assistant Marnie, guests enjoyed popular Gambian dishes, being Benechin and Domoda.

Everyone was then treated to African drumming performance by the Dumisani Drummers, featuring Gambian dancers John and Angela who donated their time.

The evening, including the raffle, raised over £720 which was split equally between the Fisher Theatre and the Kubuneh School in The Gambia, West Africa with a view to funding partly or fully extend their sanitary facilities which are desperately needed. Should enough money be raised it is hoped to also build a borehole as well at a later stage.

If you would like to help achieve the goal, please purchase a Bungay Colouring Book, a unique book, funded by local business featuring Bungay scenes as interpreted by local artists, from one of the outlets in the town including the Bungay Library and the Fisher Theatre for £5.

If you prefer, please donate through JustGiving

Thank you for your support.


Chaucer Street


Who planted the Catalpa tree?

Occasionally I have written about something nice or interesting, apart from continuously bringing to attention about the awful noise we suffer from speeding, roaring road users in Ravensmere. It stops our conversations sometimes, making us jump during the day, and awakens us through the night at intervals.

So something interesting and different: Does anyone know the age of the very big Catalpa tree, when it was planted and by whom? It has flowered recently making a sort of white fluffy cloud like a huge umbrella spanning the whole of the road from the outer edges of the left and right sides of the pavements.

Each tiny flower is like a tiny orchid. Unfortunately the flowers are now fading.



Collectors set piece appeal

A big thank you from the members of the Holy Trinity Church in Barsham for the generous support which has been given to our Friday Market sales tables over the past eight years.

The last one on July 21 amounted to £475, which will go towards the repair and upgrading of the Vestry.

During that afternoon a gentleman purchased a “collectors set”, one piece of which was left behind. Please could he make himself known to Journal chief reporter Amy Smith ( with a contact number? When I will unite him with the missing item!