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Group wants voice in town's planning

PUBLISHED: 09:08 26 September 2008 | UPDATED: 14:40 14 July 2010

A working group has been formed by Attleborough residents who want to ensure that local people are fully involved in helping shape the town's future development.

A working group has been formed by Attleborough residents who want to ensure that local people are fully involved in helping shape the town's future development.

It follows controversial proposals by Breckland Council to build 4,000 new houses in Attleborough over the next 20 years.

Fears have been expressed about inadequate amenities and services, increased traffic, the loss of countryside and other aspects of life which would amount to a major change in the character of the town.

Residents turned out in large numbers to a series of meetings, held by the town and district councils, to hear the plans explained, and put forward their views.

The overwhelming reaction was that 4,000 homes were not wanted, but there was also a realisation that some growth was inevitable. Strong feelings were also expressed that no development should take place unless carried out in a sustainable way with sufficient jobs, and the necessary improvements to infrastructure and services.

Group Captain Richard Middleton, who has been involved in helping to raise public awareness of the proposals, said: “The public meetings were an important first step but if the town is to influence development we need to become more involved with the detailed planning being done by Breckland.

“There are currently studies looking at infrastructure, water, energy, transport and jobs. Our input needs to be heard.”

He said a number of residents were involved with a recent workshop on infrastructure with consultants and the council, at which their contribution was welcomed, and Breckland has indicated it would value local input to other studies.

He added: “We are forming a group of local people, who have past or present expertise in any of the areas being studied (infrastructure, water, energy, transport and jobs), local government or planning. The group will include town councillors and, I hope, also county and district councillors.”

Anyone wishing to be involved should contact Richard Middleton on 01953 451215 or Steve Hall on 01953 451534.

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