Kirton & Trimley Community Action Group

I have to start this article by acknowledging the huge contribution to our Community’s welfare being made by Graham Walker, Jack Cade and members of the Kirton Parish Council. These guys were massive when it came to warning us of significant local issues. Indeed, were it not for their public meeting on 24th August, the Kirton and Trimley Community Campaign Group (KATCAG) would not have been formed. We should be thanking you all every time you show your faces in the village!!

In the event, KATCAG is now motoring. We decided to join forces with our Trimley colleagues at an early stage because we found so many cyclical arguments were being employed by proponents of the Draft Local Plan. Typically, it goes like this, ‘houses are needed to service the employment that will arise from Innocence Farm’ and then, ‘we need Innocence Farm to provide employment for all the housing going up in the Trimley villages’ (and Felixstowe, generally!). The essential facts are (i) the Port is de-manning (ii) there is ample development land (with outline planning permission) within or close to it’s boundaries and (iii) the District Council prefers to act in support of central Government Policy, rather than stand up for the communities it is supposed to be representing. These somewhat fundamental points seem to have escaped all but a handful of people who have a vested financial interest! My rant is over now!!

Instead, I will turn to what we are currently doing. By the time this article is published, we will have met a Barrister from the Landmark Chambers - probably the UK’s leading chambers in the field of ‘Planning’. Employing a barrister is not cheap, but the Steering Group feel it is money well-spent that will probably save a great deal of wasted expenditure in the medium and longer-term. Following that meeting, we intend informing the Community of a detailed forward plan.

Although our objectives are much the same as theirs, we have not joined forces with other pressure groups, because each has raised funds in relation to a specific local issue. We believe any such funds should be spent only in the context of that groups specific objectives. This said, we are talking to one another all the time and may well share the cost of obtaining ‘expert opinion’ on a topic of shared interest. For example, we all agree the need for a detailed, professional re-examination of the evidence base, offered in support of the draft Local Plan. We all think the figures indicated for (i) new homes and (ii) employment land are likely to prove far lower than those declared.

Needless to say, raising funds is the next big challenge! We would love to identify a wealthy benefactor, but we will probably need to raise funds the hard way. This said, if we could raise £20 from less than 10% of the Kirton, Trimley and Felixstowe population, it would pay for the £50K needed for Stage 1, at a stroke. Donor numbers are everything if it’s to be a small cost spread amongst many, so please ask friends, family and acquaintances to help where they can – there are lots of ways people can donate.

Events are moving fast at present so, please keep an eye on www.kirtontrimleyCAG.com or our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/KirtonLandGrab/. If you don’t use a computer, we’re hoping to appoint “KATCAG Champions” shortly, who will be charged with keeping ‘non-electronic’ residents up-to-date! However, it would help if you could register your interest in being offered a specific “Champion”. Should this be the case, please write to KATCAG, Innocence House, Innocence Lane, Kirton IP10 0PJ or phone Stephen Wrinch on 07584-310610.