Call for meeting over building saga

Cllr Christine Pearce with her husband Ron and Town Councillor David Hudson by the unit being developed near Vincent Close on Studlands.
Cllr Christine Pearce with her husband Ron and Town Councillor David Hudson by the unit being developed near Vincent Close on Studlands.

Furious residents of Newmarket’s Studlands Park are calling for an urgent meeting with district council planning officers to resolve a nine-year building saga on the estate.

Construction work began on an industrial unit off Studlands Park Avenue after Christmas, nine years after the plans were first approved by Forest Heath District Council, which residents living in the adjacent Vincent Close said was too large and had encroached on their homes.

One of the residents, Cllr Christine Pearce, who also represents the Studlands Park ward for Newmarket Town Council, said the building was too large for the plot at 30 feet high and 160 to 170 feet in length.

She also said the removal of a 30-foot-wide verge of mature trees, by developers Parkway Construction MK, which had previously separated the plot from homes in Vincent Close, had left nothing to shield their gardens from the industrial site.

Back in 2007, the Journal reported how the developers tore down the row of trees without approval from the district council’s planning department, which approved the building work in 2005 with the condition that the trees remained.

Cllr Pearce said: “The verge, now only being 15 foot in width, would have provided some privacy. The trees have now been replanted but, as young trees, they do not provide a barrier.

“You can see how it is encroaching on our bungalows. There is no footpath, just the road and then our gardens.”

After the trees were removed, a stop notice was put in place by the district council to halt all building work, but the development was given the green light after several appeals.

Cllr Pearce also raised concerns that noise levels on the finished build would be too high for the residential area, which she said already suffered from the noise level of traffic coming from the nearby A14 road.

“We are all fearful now to find out what the site is going to be used for,” she said.

“People who have since moved in to the area are up in arms because they didn’t know this was going to happen.

“The build is a complete eyesore for all those living near. We do not wish for other residents in Newmarket to endure the difficulties we have endured and, therefore, we are requesting a public meeting of residents and those in planning to discuss further development of the estate, and how to avoid the difficulties we have experienced to date.”

She added: “I personally feel that Forest Heath District Council have not safegaurded the welfare of local residents and that the planning committee should take a lesson from their mistakes, being deliberate or not, on the way they have conducted themselves over this planning application.”

A Parkway Construction MK spokesman said: “This development is being constructed with full planning approval from Forest Heath District Council.”

Forest Heath District Council was not available for comment when contacted by the Journal.