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More than 11,000 new homes for Waveney?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 September 2009 | UPDATED: 13:59 06 July 2010

THOUSANDS of new homes totalling over 11,000 could be built in the Waveney area over the next 20 years if a new blueprint gets the go ahead, it was revealed this week.

THOUSANDS of new homes totalling over 11,000 could be built in the Waveney area over the next 20 years if a new blueprint gets the go ahead, it was revealed this week.

But the proposal has alarmed the Suffolk Preservation Society which is making strong objections.

The East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) has been asked by the Government to review its East of England Plan and extend its framework from 2021 to 2031.

EERA has put forward four scenarios in its consultation which would see between 26,060 and 33,650 homes built each year from 2011 to 2031.

Under one option the location of the new homes would be dictated by long-term trends as people living longer and the influx of elderly residents to Suffolk.

This would mean massive increases in retirement hotspots, which would have to absorb twice as many properties compared to the other scenarios.

Waveney District Council's allocation would rocket nearly 300pc from 290 new homes per year to 850 - leaving them with an extra 11,200 over the 20-year period.

Neighbouring Suffolk Coastal would experience a two-fold increase to 1,100 homes per year.

Ipswich, being a built-up area, would see its housing allocation drop.

Mike Coleman, chairman of the Suffolk Preservation Society, said: “We are very concerned about all four proposals but in particular one that would see even more homes built in rural areas.

“We do not believe there is any justification for the number of new homes in any of the EERA proposals. We do understand there is a need for affordable homes in rural areas but the proposals are not for affordable homes.

“The society will be giving its views to EERA during the consultation period and objecting to all four proposals,” said Mr Coleman.

Many members at the EERA meeting, held at Endeavour House, Ipswich, on Wednesday, were shocked by the announcement.

One member of the audience said: “To say I am concerned would be a huge understatement. You are looking to put a large proportion of people on the coast, where we have had the removal of health services, education, employment and other provisions.

“It is quite bizarre.”

However, Adrian Cannard, head of planning and housing at EERA, defended the proposal and said councils would be given the flexibility to meet the needs of villages.

A spokesperson for Waveney District Council said: “The council will need to consider the implications and its response to the consultation and is looking to confirm its position at its cabinet meeting in November.”

EERA is involving the public, councils and other groups and organisations before making any recommendations to the Government.

The consultation runs until November 24 and EERA is seeking response to four different scenarios for housing and economic growth.

Three of the scenarios would see 290 new homes built each year in Waveney and the fourth would see 850.

More information is available at www.eera.gov.uk

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