Upset parish chairman writes to MP over town plans

Elizabeth Truss MP. Picture: Ian Burt

Elizabeth Truss MP. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A parish council chairman has written to an MP to show his disappointment at her apparent support for a massive overhaul of a nearby town.

Mike Nairn, chairman of Weeting Parish Council, has written to Elizabeth Truss after the MP for South West Norfolk appeared to back plans by URS and Kestrel Property and Land to regenerate Brandon.

The comprehensive plans come as part of a scheme to build a relief road in Brandon and outline sewerage facilities in Weeting as well a retail park, a golf course and more than 2,000 homes.

In his letter, Mr Nairn said the plans are not supported in Breckland and raised concerns that Weeting could become a 'dumping ground for Brandon's effuent'.

Yesterday, he said he had since spoken to Ms Truss and had assurances from her that her backing for the scheme did not extend to the redevelopment plans.

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'She said she is supportive of the relief road aspect of the plans in order for it to achieve European funding but she is not supportive of any development in Breckland,' he said.

Mr Nairn said the scheme's developers were showing 'scant regard' for the wishes of local people in producing the plans.

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'The road they are building will cut across us and shut us off from access to Brandon and beyond to Bury St Edmunds and Thetford.

'To me that's possibly the worst solution of all because anyone wishing to go into Brandon has to take a much longer route. I'm sure traders in Brandon High Street must be concerned too because it will turn it into a cul-de-sac,' he said.

Ms Truss said: 'I do favour the principle of a relief road if it can be proven to be beneficial for local residents and business. As we hope to secure half hourly services on the Norwich to Cambridge line, it is clear a solution is needed for the level crossing at Brandon, which is still an ongoing problem.

'I supported a letter for the relief road scheme to try and secure European funding. In that letter I made it clear that this only related to development in Forest Heath district, which is a matter for that Council.

'I have not supported any development on the Breckland side of the border. The final plans are yet to be submitted and when they are I will be consulting fully with my constituents.'

No one from Kestrel or URS was available for comment.

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