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Councillor calls for speed limit extension along 'dangerous' road next to which 53 homes will be built in Clare



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A district councillor wants to see the 30mph speed limit on a gateway road to Clare extended further away from the town to improve safety at a new housing development.

Cllr Nick Clarke feels the move is necessary to ensure the safety of anyone entering and leaving the 53-house development on land off Cavendish Road, between Stour Valley Community School and Clare Hall, that was granted planning permission last week.

The scheme, comprising a mixture of two to four bedroom houses, was submitted by the Land Charter Homes Group and was approved at the West Suffolk Council (WSC) development control committee by 12 votes to 4.

Cllr Nick Clarke at the town sign for Clare on Cavendish Road, where he wants the 30mph limit extended to a point beyond where it currently ends. Picture by Mark Westley
Cllr Nick Clarke at the town sign for Clare on Cavendish Road, where he wants the 30mph limit extended to a point beyond where it currently ends. Picture by Mark Westley

One of the four objectors was Cllr Clarke, who represents Clare, Hundon and Kedington at WSC and was once the Leader at Cambridgeshire County Council.

He said: “There were concerns about the general infrastructure of Clare.

“There’s a feeling it’s not able to cope as we move forward. Clare is currently 150 per cent above its housing allocation and there is no more car parking.

Cllr Nick Clarke next to the land in Cavendish Road, Clare that will be turned into a housing development of 53 homes. Picture by Mark Westley
Cllr Nick Clarke next to the land in Cavendish Road, Clare that will be turned into a housing development of 53 homes. Picture by Mark Westley

“With this extra housing there is a pressure on the roads.

“The big issue of safety at this development was around the 30mph speed limit. That road is a dangerous road. There is a lot of fast traffic along there.”

Cllr Clarke wanted to have a condition added to the planning agreement for the 30mph limit to be moved further out towards Cavendish to allow drivers more time to begin slowing down before reaching the entrance to the development and the school

However, he explained: “Unfortunately the rules do not allow it. The planning authority can’t apply that condition unless the (Suffolk) Highways authority want it and they don’t want it.

Cllr Nick Clarke at the town sign for Clare in Cavendish Road. Picture by Mark Westley
Cllr Nick Clarke at the town sign for Clare in Cavendish Road. Picture by Mark Westley

“They say it is fine as it is.”

Cllr Clarke added that he intends to meet up with other concerned parties, such as Clare’s county councillor Bobby Bennett and the town council, to find the ‘best way forward’ to realising the 30mph extension - and it may even lead to campaign if necessary.

He also said that the housing scheme had other areas of concern, such as the provision of broadband, the installation of solar panels and improving pedestrian links with the town centre.

Suffolk Highways was asked to comment but said it had nothing more to add to the observations it made as part of the planning process.

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