This article from Cameron Matthews was written in response to a request from the Kirton and Trimly Community Action Group for a view on the proposed developments of housing, warehousing and a lorry park on local farmland.
During my period of doorknocking and meeting residents (and speaking to my friends and family) one thing has been clear. The overwhelming majority of people have concerns about the level of housing development being allocated in Felixstowe and immediate surrounding area.
Most people are concerned that it seems the local plan disproportionately allocates these developments within this specific local area. But most people (including myself) also acknowledge that we need more housing and truly affordable housing for young people and others to be able to get on the ladder.
However what is absolutely crucial is that any such development(s) must be in close consultation with local communities. Furthermore they must be cognisant of the ability of local infrastructure to be able to cope and sensitive to local demonstrable environmental concerns.
Broadly reviewing the Innocence Farm proposals I am not presently satisfied that all of these tests have been met, nor am I satisfied that all possible alternatives have been reviewed/exhausted.
With regards to the proposed lorry park I am even more shocked by this given the position. There simply must be alternatives along the local A14 corridor to place this in a more efficient and less impactful location.
If elected I would wish to meet with the members of the local Kirton and Trimley Community Action Group to discuss how we might propose an alternative and exactly what that might look like.
Equally, whilst I have read the Local Plan, I would be seeking to conduct a proper review of it myself again. I would consult with local communities across the constituency to gauge all concerns and work together to discuss how we provide the housing we need whilst ensuring we protect our environment. One way might be to adopt a strategy of utilising presently uninhabited housing which stands empty.