Waveney Local Plan could spell death of village, Worlingham Parish Council claims

The proposed site for housing off Ellough Road in Worlingham near Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher.

The proposed site for housing off Ellough Road in Worlingham near Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A local plan to reshape the Waveney area will be the death of one of its villages, it has been claimed.

This is the view of Worlingham Parish Council's chairman Wendy Summerfield, who has expressed serious concerns about the plan.

Unveiled last month, the first draft of the Waveney Local Plan has touted 9,000 new homes across the area, 15pc of which are proposed for an area lying between Beccles and Worlingham.

If it comes to fruition, the plans would see an additional 1,473 homes built in that area by 2036, which Mrs Summerfield says would have dire consequences for the village.

She said: 'We as a council believe that if the plan goes ahead it would be the death of our village. It would destroy it.

'We are going to try and make the public as aware of the plans as possible as we feel it would have a huge impact on the village.'

The council is planning to launch a campaign against the plan in its current form, which they are naming 'Death of Our Village'.

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However, it is not development in general they object to; merely the scale on which it has been touted.

'We understand the need for development and affordable housing but surveys we have carried out have shown we need between 222 and 301 new homes,rather than this many,' she said.

'We feel our suggestions have been ignored.'

Mrs Summerfield also expressed concerns at the impact the development could have on Beccles, as well as the environmental impact of that many new households.

As part of the campaign, the council is urging members of the public that share their concerns to make their voices heard to Waveney District Council.

Residents can have their say on the plans in one of two ways - either recording their feedback online or by attending a public exhibition.

Exhibitions have already been held at Beccles Public Hall, Halesworth Rifle Hall, the Fisher Theatre in Bungay and Riverside council offices in Lowestoft.

They continue at Reydon Village Hall on August 21 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm and Lowestoft Library on September 2, from 9.30am to 1pm.

A second exhibition has also been organised at Beccles Library on September 5, and there are plans for a question and answer session to be held in the town.