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Concerns raised over Mildenhall roads ahead of 1,300-home masterplan going out to public consultation



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The masterplan for 1,300 new homes in Mildenhall will go out to public consultation after agreement from councillors – but concerns have already been voiced over roads.

Suffolk County Council has formed a masterplan for land it owns west of Mildenhall close to the new Mildenhall Hub public services complex, to be developed for around 1,300 homes.

The 97-hectare site, which is in the site allocations local plan for mixed use development, would also feature a local centre, employment land and primary school.

An artist illustration featured in the Mildenhall masterplan of what the new 1,300 homes planned for west Mildenhall could look like. Picture: BLUEPENCIL (52989950)
An artist illustration featured in the Mildenhall masterplan of what the new 1,300 homes planned for west Mildenhall could look like. Picture: BLUEPENCIL (52989950)

West Suffolk Council’s cabinet on Tuesday night gave its blessing for the masterplan consultation to begin, likely to be from next week, encouraging as many people as possible to share their thoughts.

But already warnings have been sounded over the impact it will have on the roads.

Independent councillor Ian Shipp, Mildenhall Kingsway and Market ward member, told Tuesday’s cabinet meeting: “The main concern I and others have is the real lack of feasible transport and access to the site.

The layout of the west Mildenhall 1,300 homes development in the Mildenhall masterplan. Picture: BLUEPENCIL DESIGNS LTD (52989956)
The layout of the west Mildenhall 1,300 homes development in the Mildenhall masterplan. Picture: BLUEPENCIL DESIGNS LTD (52989956)

“Suffolk County Council and their consultants have presented a number of options which they feel will mitigate transport issues, but even their own calculations show they are not currently viable.

“This development will significantly impact Mildenhall, and to date to my mind and many others the solution hasn’t been found.

“It is expected most people who move to the new site will need to travel out of town to get to work, and we all know 1,300 new homes in a rural location will bring many new cars.

An artist illustration featured in the Mildenhall masterplan of what the new 1,300 homes planned for west Mildenhall could look like. Picture: BLUEPENCIL (52989952)
An artist illustration featured in the Mildenhall masterplan of what the new 1,300 homes planned for west Mildenhall could look like. Picture: BLUEPENCIL (52989952)

“The masterplan boasts of a relief road for the site, however it is not a new road and merely an extension to the already busy road on a busy industrial estate.”

Cllr Shipp has urged those in the villages surrounding Mildenhall to take part in the consultation as well, as they will be “greatly affected” by the development.

It is envisaged that any future construction would be delivered in phases, and future planning applications would be in alignment with the masterplan.

David Roach, West Suffolk’s Conservative cabinet member for planning, said: “The whole point of the consultation is we try to get as many views from as many people as we can.

“I am sure Cllr Shipp will ensure everybody in Mildenhall will look at the consultation and feed back those views so that we get a really, really wide response, because only by doing that do we get enough opinions to be able to make us do the work to ensure we get the best outcome.”

Addressing the highways concerns, a spokesman from Suffolk County Council said: “We are working closely with the highways authority to identify a range of potential improvement measures that may be required in any future planning application to robustly mitigate any potentially material adverse impacts upon Mildenhall’s transport network.

“We have also met with the external consultants, with whom we have shared work done to date and key information plus the potential highways mitigation measures. Their comments have been taken away and we have agreed to meet again following the consultation to share the next iteration of transport work done, and to continue to meet as required.”

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk

Read more: All the latest news from Mildenhall