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Felsham council warns of 'potential for a serious accident' over planned road changes to housing development




Felsham residents are asking highways bosses to visit the village to witness how potential road changes could impact safety.

They believe narrowing the main thoroughfare through the village to allow access to a proposed housing development would have a major safety impact.

Under a planning application for three homes on a field behind the Six Bells pub, Church Road could be reduced in width to allow residents of the new homes adequate visibility using the pub car park entrance to access their properties.

Nick Panayi with a 180-signature petition – for a village with fewer than 160 dwellings – regarding the road safety and risk of proposals for Church Road. Picture by Mecha Morton
Nick Panayi with a 180-signature petition – for a village with fewer than 160 dwellings – regarding the road safety and risk of proposals for Church Road. Picture by Mecha Morton

Mid Suffolk District Council is considering the plans by applicant Cordage 13 Ltd for three homes and parking on land at the rear of the Six Bells – which would continue as a pub.

The proposals have sparked more than 30 objections from villagers, with many citing road safety as a major concern. Others fear the impact on the viability of the pub, which is registered as a village community asset.

Felsham Parish Council, in its objection, said: “

Felsham resident Nick Panayi and Mid Suffolk district councillor Penny Otton. Picture by Mecha Morton
Felsham resident Nick Panayi and Mid Suffolk district councillor Penny Otton. Picture by Mecha Morton

How can it be possible that several metres of Suffolk County Council highway can be used in order to achieve the required visibility? Surely if this is allowed then it makes a mockery of the criteria for visibility safety.

“We ask that someone from highways please visit the site, the potential for a serious accident here is huge.”

Nick Panayi, of Felsham, said plans to place end of carriageway markings along an 80m stretch of Church Road – which he said Suffolk Council Council highways had approved without conducting a traffic survey or site visit – could cause ‘very serious risk to life’.

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said there was little substantive evidence the proposals would result in safety concerns.

“The proposal allows vehicles for the new dwellings and for customers of the public house to safely enter and exit the access with improved visibility. It also creates a speed reduction measure by reducing the carriageway widths with road markings,” she added.

A planning, design and access statement said the pub’s existing access had a good safety record.

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