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From beauty spot to building site: How Thurston could eventually have 7,000 homes




Househunters are spoiled for choice in Thurston, with four developers currently building new homes in the village.

More than 1,200 homes have been granted planning approval by Mid Suffolk District Council, with some of those properties now under construction.

Several areas of the village have been likened to building sites, as Linden Homes has planning permission for 200 homes at ‘Cavendish View’, in Norton Road; Persimmon builds 248 homes at ‘College Park’, off Ixworth Road; Bovis Homes constructs 129 homes at ‘Grange Park’, in Barton Road and Hopkins Homes builds 175 homes at ‘Thurston Park’, off Norton Road.

Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: Linden Homes, Cavendish View....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48192865)
Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: Linden Homes, Cavendish View....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48192865)

One resident said: “It’s a total nightmare/construction site. Noise, dust and road closures on and off.”

A spokeswoman for Persimmon Homes Suffolk said the College Park development was selling well.

“More than 75 properties have been completed and we are working towards welcoming all our new customers by the end of 2022,” she said.

Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: Bovis, Grange Park....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48192888)
Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: Bovis, Grange Park....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48192888)

A Bovis spokesman said building work on its 129-home development was expected to take three years, with a four-bedroom show home due to open in the coming months.

Of the 129 homes, 45 will be classed as affordable while 14 bungalows will be built. The development will also include ‘hedgehog highways’ to protect wildlife.

Linden and Hopkins Homes were approached for comment.

Meanwhile, work on 64 homes off Meadow Lane is yet to start, Bloor Homes has planning approval for 210 homes on land south-west of Beyton Road and Gladman Homes wants to build 210 dwellings on land to the east of Ixworth Road.

Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: Hopkins Homes, Thurston Park....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48192875)
Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: Hopkins Homes, Thurston Park....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48192875)

However, Thurston Parish Council has brought judicial review proceedings – due to be heard on October 20 and 21 – against Mid Suffolk District Council for its decision on the Bloor application.

Vicky Waples, Thurston Parish Council clerk, said: “The last time I counted, since 2017 1,200 houses have been granted planning permission – excluding the Gladman development, where approval has been granted but the planning notice has not yet been issued.

“There is also a future growth uplift in the local plan. By the time it is all finished, it is predicted we will have more than 7,000 homes in the village.

Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: ....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48192887)
Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: ....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48192887)

“That is a massive number and there is not the infrastructure that directly impacts on people’s lives being put in place here.”

Mrs Waples said the impact on the village during construction had been seen through the destruction of verges and construction vehicles parked inappropriately.

“But people can see beyond that as there will be a time the building work finishes and that stops,” she said.

Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: Persimmon, College Park....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48192727)
Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: Persimmon, College Park....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48192727)

“The issue that’s going to come about, when you live in a village the size of a small town, is having to queue to drive in and out of your own village – if you have to queue for 15 minutes just to get out of Thurston it gridlocks the entire village.”

Highways changes which will see the Fishwick Corner junction staggered have been granted approval by West Suffolk Council, however no improvements for the Bunbury Arms junction are in the pipeline.

“We are going to have the exact same problems there – especially as Ixworth and Stanton are also growing – and we’ve not heard of any money being spent to mitigate the issues,” added Mrs Waples.

Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: Fishwicke Corner where Bloor want to build on the field off there....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48193003)
Thurston looking like a building site with various housing developments under way..PICTURED: Fishwicke Corner where Bloor want to build on the field off there....Picture by Mecha Morton.. (48193003)

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