Dr Dan Poulter has called on developers to pay their fair share to help improve parking provision in Framlingham.
All too often, there are parking problems in the town due to a lack of available parking spaces – something that it vitally important for local businesses, residents and visitors. Dr Dan has now written to Cllr Tony Fryatt, Suffolk Coastal District Council's cabinet member for planning, stating the time has come for this to be addressed.
In 2014, in response to growing concerns which he shared with local residents about increased development and new homes in Framlingham, Dr Dan carried out a survey of people living in and around the town. The aim was to shape the town's future infrastructure needs.
There was an overwhelming response highlighting the need for greater medical provision within the town, including the expansion of the GP surgery, expansion of the local primary school and improvements to local roads and availability of parking within the town.
Since then, Dr Dan has been working with Suffolk Coastal District Council to address a number of these concerns, and he is delighted that work began in July on the expansion of Framlingham's GP Surgery. This work is thanks to a joint funding boost from NHS England's Estates and Technical Transformation Fund and Suffolk Coastal District Council's Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) fund. In fact, Framlingham Medical Practice is the first to receive a CIL payment from the council - this funding injection will enable an additional 3 consulting rooms, and an additional doctor and nurse, enabling the practice to offer a further 164 appointments each week.
Although this is welcome news, the lack of parking is an issue that still needs to be tackled, and quickly.
Speaking with local retailers, Dr Dan said "Like many residents, I had initial concerns about the number of homes being built in Framlingham. As always, it is vitally important that, alongside this, the town continues to receive the additional infrastructure that it needs and deserves. Developers making large profits from building large numbers of homes must pay their fair share."
"I am pleased to be working with Suffolk Coastal District Council to help improve services within the town and am delighted that work is now underway to expand the GP surgery, thanks to a grant of £420,000. However, it is essential that Framlingham, which already has traffic and parking issues, is properly supported to expand the number of parking spaces available to residents and workers, and, of course, the visitors who bring additional revenue into the town."
Local business owner, Bill Bulstrode, added: "I've been retailing in Framlingham since the early 1970s. Parking was a problem then and it's only got worse since. Although small improvements have been made over the decades, much more needs to be done to keep up with the growth and development in and around the town.
"With shoppers facing restricted options over where to park, they often drive around the town two or three times and, if unable to find a spot, they simply leave the town and go elsewhere. This is of great concern to us as business owners, who want to welcome shoppers and visitors to the town.
"Unless the issue of parking in Framingham is addressed urgently, I fear that some retailers will be forced to close due to lack of footfall. We cannot stand by and let this happen."
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