Feelings are running high in Woodbridge over Bloor Homes’ proposed closure of Woods Lane “as agreed with Suffolk Coastal local authority”.
And while neither development nor road is in Woodbridge, Woodbridge will get the congestion without any benefits. We are told our Woodbridge through road will be the artery for diverted traffic for months.
Thus – yet again – the unintended consequences of untrammelled development without strategic planning.
I have some sympathy with the District Council: caught between the rock of governmental pressure to build houses and a ‘market will decide’ mentality that has no care whether these houses are homes – or second homes. However this is their party, their policy. They must not turn their backs on responsibility for it because it is not only unpopular but uworkable and unjust.
There is no doubt homes are needed but not these ones. Property hotspot Woodbridge lacks housing for the lowpaid hard workers on whom the town relies: retained firefighters, care workers, teachers, nurses, police, paramedics. And we need them to live here, not commute in.
Reports of the Bloor development mention it will deliver an unspecified number of (the laughably misnamed) ‘affordable housing’ units, priced at 80% of market rate. This will not help any care worker, or teacher to get a foot on the property ladder – yet the road closure will certainly prevent them from arriving at their essential place of work on time.
What tragic irony!
Woodbridge does need housing at social rent (that’s 65% of market rent) for those we rely on and who can’t afford to live here. Sadly, I can find no suggestion that any of the housing build by Bloor will be of this type.
What to do? In the short term I hope some solution can be found to this outrageous imposition on the general public by a company set up for private profit. It should not be beyond the wit of man – or woman either. Bloor could create a temporary bypass across its own development land maybe? I will be writing to suggest this to Bloor, county and district councils and our MP.
I also urge Suffolk Coastal – who agreed this closure – and Suffolk County who will enforce it to dig deep in their pockets and fund projects to ameliorate the problems caused by this closure. I am thinking here specifically of the Woodbridge 20mph and associated traffic calming scheme