West Suffolk Local Plan (Regulation 18) Issues and Options Consultation – The next Public Consultation will be held in January 2024
Response from Fornham St Martin cum St Genevieve Parish Council
The Parish Council on behalf of the residents of Fornham St Martin and Fornham St Genevieve villages have the following comments.
The villages have always felt strongly protective of their independence and cherished separate identity as rural infill villages. The separation between the two villages and Bury St Edmunds Town has always been extremely important and there has always been fierce resistance to any coalescence between the town and the surrounding Villages.
We understand that the villages will be re classified from “infill” villages to “Type A” villages under the new joint West Suffolk Council Local Plan. The declassification of the villages to “Type A” means that there is the distinct possibility of unwanted new development being allowed within the villages and their boundaries, thus bringing the villages even closer to the town of Bury St Edmunds.
The Parish Council strongly objected to the reclassification from ‘infill’ to ‘Type A’ under the last consultation in October 2020, and we are deeply disappointed that our views and opinions and those of our residents have been ignored and would now strongly object again to the change of village status.
We understand the new classification “Type A” has been based upon the fact that the villages are within two kilometres of local services, however the local services in question are actually those within the town of Bury St Edmunds. There are in fact no schools, GP’s, shops or even a post office in the actual villages.
The fact that the villages independence and separation from the town of Bury St Edmunds is of vital importance to the residents means that this is just a further incidence of coalescence, which must be avoided and prevented at all costs. It is imperative that the feelings of the residents are taken into consideration. It is also felt that this declassification to “Type A” is yet another stepping stone to the villages losing their infill/rural status and will be setting a precedent for future unwanted development.
We understand that the previous infill village metric of “5 properties maximum per plot” is not in the “type A” definition so as a Parish Council we would want to campaign vehemently to try and get this reinstated. This would provide a measure of protection that is vital for resident’s piece of mind. Site 5.06a shown on the plan as being available for developments of up to 10 dwellings, is not in-line with the villages current classification of an ‘infill’ village, which would normally only allow development of up to 5 dwellings, as we strongly oppose the reclassification of our villages, we would ask that this site be changed to a maximum of 5 dwellings only, especially as in the last 2 years the villages have already been effected by several major developments in the area, namely The West Suffolk Operational Hub, Marham Park and Fornham Park. All of which have had their own impact on the infrastructure and environment within the villages. We feel that the two villages and the surrounding area have already made a significant contribution to large scale development and housing provision. Supporting infrastructure (roads, schools, healthcare provision) should all be taken into account and considered fully before the plans are finalised and agreed.
The Parish Council would like to reiterate that we strongly object to the declassification of our villages to “Type A” status and we are opposed to the site 5.06a being available for 10 dwellings and would ask that the classification remain as an ‘infill’ village and the site 5.06a be available for only 5 dwellings development.