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  1. Updates for Wednesday, 18 May 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Philippa Taylor

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Suffolk Live signing off

That's it for today's Suffolk Live.

We'll be back in the morning from 08:00 with a special East Anglia Devolution Debate Live, covering Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

Have a good evening.

Watch: Ambulance service joins 'running man' challenge

The East of England Ambulance Service has taken up a challenge to perform an online dance known as the "running man challenge".

View more on youtube

Emergency services personnel around the world have danced in uniform with many of the videos going viral after the craze was started by basketball players in the United States. 

The region's ambulance service has now thrown down the the gauntlet to colleagues at Norfolk police and the county's fire service.

Police carry out vehicle checks in Ipswich

Luke Deal

BBC Radio Suffolk

Suffolk Police have been out on the streets of Ipswich today carrying out vehicle checks, and using drug-driving saliva tests if their drugs dog Zuma detects the presence of any illegal substances.

Sgt Julian Ditcham said the saliva test could be carried out by the roadside: "It's been available to the police since 2015.

"It's revolutionised the drug-driving offence for us in that it's so easy for us to use now."

Police checks

Overnight weather: Showers dying out

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Patchy rain will gradually clear eastwards, followed by further showers, some heavy and thundery. Skies will clear later in the night. Lows of 9C (48F).

Thursday's weather map

Tomorrow will be warmer than today, with bright or sunny spells, and staying mainly dry. Top temperature: 19C (66F).

Get the full forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Controversial plans for Brantham homes approved

Campaigners opposed to a planning application for the Wardle Storeys site in Brantham say it's "very, very disappointing" that the scheme has been given the go-ahead by Babergh District Council.

More than 300 homes will be built on greenfield land adjacent to the brownfield site, which will be developed for industrial use.

Planners have approved an application for Wardle Storeys site in Brantham

Air ambulance called after woman suffers serious head injury in Sudbury

Suffolk Free Press

A woman in her 60s has been flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital by air ambulance after suffering a serious head injury when she fell from her bicycle in Ballingdon Street this afternoon.

Go-ahead for Brantham scheme is 'extremely disappointing' says campaigner

Guy Campbell

BBC Radio Suffolk

A member of the campaign group HOGS (Hands off our Greenfield Space) says today's approval of the plans for the Wardle Storeys site in Brantham is "extremely disappointing".

'No building on greenfield' sign

John Richardson said: "There were some very, very valid points made but it struck me that the planning committee completely ignored the highways issues. 

"The matter of affordable housing was just brushed under the carpet in my view."

Rural areas 'have to take their fair share of new developments'

Guy Campbell

BBC Radio Suffolk

The chairman of Babergh District Council's planning committee says rural areas have to take their "fair share" of new development.

Wardle Storeys site

Speaking after councillors approved a major planning application for the Wardle Storeys site in Brantham, Peter Beer said: "At the end of the day they [rural areas] have to come to terms that this will help keep their communities alive."

East Anglian devolution: Potential breakthrough in talks

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

East Anglian devolution appears to be a step closer after the government told councils in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk that it's prepared to accept a revision to the original plans, proposed by Cambridgeshire councillors.

East Anglian Flag

Under the so-called "brother and sister" deal there would be two devolved authorities and two directly-elected mayors: one for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and one for Norfolk and Suffolk.

Both authorities would agree to work closely together on strategic matters.

I understand the Local Government Secretary Greg Clark met Chancellor George Osborne last night and persuaded him to accept the new proposal.

County council repeats guarantees on fire service

We said earlier that we hadn't heard from Suffolk County Council since yesterday's confirmation of £1m of cuts to the fire service.

Matthew Hicks, who's responsible for public protection, has now said that until the end of the government's spending review period, in 2020, there will be:

  • No reduction in the number of fire stations
  • No further reduction in front line fire engines
  • No reduction in funding above the level already announced 

Soul searching required at Mildenhall Speedway

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

After a poor start to the season, Mildenhall Fen Tigers chairman Kevin Jolly says a lot of soul searching is required at the club to save their campaign.

Kevin Jolly starts Speedway heat
Jeff Higgott

Teenager Alfie Bowtell and captain Connor Coles are two riders who have struggled, and Jolly admits he may have overestimated their abilities. 

"I've been in constant contact with Connor and had expected more," he said. "It looks as though he is severely lacking in power."

Connor intent on climbing the Speedway mountain

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Mildenhall Speedway rider Connor Mountain is targeting a ride in the Premier League, after beginning the new season well for the Fen Tigers.

Connor Mountain leads a Speedway heat at West Row
Jeff Higgott

Mountain was paid for 16 points after Sunday's loss to champions Birmingham, and he believes Mildenhall will fare better on the road tomorrow at Isle of Wight. 

"Birmingham are a tough team from one to seven and don't really have a reserve rider as such," Mountain said. "We won't face a tougher team this season, plus we will improve as well." 

Danny Rampling tops bill for new Ipswich music festival

Richard Haugh

BBC Introducing in Suffolk

DJ Danny Rampling is the star attraction at the first Ipswich Weekender, which takes place at Holywells Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Danny Rampling

Promoter Ben Osborne said he was delighted to have secured the DJ, who will be flying out to Ibiza for the summer immediately afterwards. Other names on the bill include The Woodentops, White Noise and Diesel from X-Press 2.

"It's an exciting time to be doing the Weekender in Ipswich," Mr Osborne said. "We hope that events like this will encourage more bands and DJs to include Ipswich in national tours.

"That would be good for anyone that enjoys music in the region and for the local economy."

Travel: Police investigation blocks Ballingdon Street in Sudbury

Police say a woman is in a serious, possibly life-threatening condition and has been taken to hospital, after falling from her bicycle in Sudbury.

The A131 Ballingdon Street is blocked between Middleton Road and Church Street while an investigation is carried out. 

The cause of the incident is unknown, but no other vehicles are thought to be involved.

New music festival for Ipswich

Richard Haugh

BBC Introducing in Suffolk

You've got to admire the enthusiasm and drive of promoter Ben Osborne. He made a name for himself putting on events in London under the Noise of Art banner, and two years ago headed closer to home for the inaugural Woodbridge Art and Music Event.

Mirror Signal at The Anchor, Woodbridge

The festival was ambitious to say the least. Rather than starting small, Mr Osborne decided to programme acts for about six different venues around the town, which isn't really known for being a hotbed of live music, and attracted established acts to appear alongside local talent.

Mr Osborne is now turning his attention to Ipswich, and on Saturday and Sunday will host the first Ipswich Weekender

The event is taking part at Holywells Park in the day time, before heading to Pump & Grind and The Music Room in the night.

Afternoon weather: Showery rain, some heavy

BBC Weather

It'll be rather cloudy this afternoon, with outbreaks of rain. This will be locally heavy, gradually clearing to scattered showers. Highs of 14C (57F).

Long Melford
Weather Watcher 'Bangalore Babe'

Weather Watcher Bangalore Babe has sent us this photograph taken in Long Melford.

If you'd like to find out more about Weather Watchers, take a look at the website.

Recovered Nissan Qashqai was involved in fatal crash, police confirm

Police say they are satisfied a Nissan Qashqai car recovered on Monday is the one that was involved in a fatal collision in Bungay in the early hours of Friday, and are not seeking any other vehicles in relation to the incident.

Pedestrian Shane Lay, 42, of Broome, died on Saturday at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, following the crash in Bridge Street.

Two men were arrested on Monday on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. One has been released without charge and the other, a 48-year-old man from Suffolk, has been bailed to return to police on 10 August, pending further inquiries.

Huggins says Suffolk are improving by the week

Suffolk Free Press

Suffolk County Cricket Club skipper Tom Huggins says his side are improving by the week.

Tom Huggins
Suffolk Free Press

Brantham: What have councillors approved?

Plans for a major development of the former Wardle Storeys site in Brantham have been approved by planners.

But what exactly have they said "yes" to?

  • Regeneration of existing industrial estate for employment, retail and community uses
  • Mixed use development to comprise approximately 320 dwellings
  • Provision of public open space and new playing pitches

BreakingBrantham development approved

Kevin Burch

BBC Look East

Development approved nine votes to five.

Further details as we get them.

Brantham planning: Developer already had 'keen interest' from firms

Kevin Burch

BBC Look East

A spokesman for the developer has told the planning meeting it already has keen interest from firms to make use of a regenerated brownfield site in Brantham.

Planning officer Stuart McAdam says he expects the scheme would be phased over eight to 10 years, with mitigation as needed. He said it wouldn't be "pandemonium" on the streets.

Another council officer, Philip Isbell, said the scheme wasn't ideal, but warned that to do nothing wasn't an option.

Brantham planning: Houses 'can't be built on brownfield site'

Babergh District Council's lead planning officer Stuart McAdam has told the meeting that the houses included in a major planning application for Brantham can't be built on the brownfield site, as flood protection measures would be "too costly".

Brantham planning latest

Let's return now to Babergh District Council's planning meeting, which is considering an application to develop an industrial site and build 300 homes on greenfield land at Brantham.

Ward councillor Harriet Steer (Conservative) has urged rejection of the plans, due to a lack of affordable housing, and because of safety concerns on the A137.

Independent councillor Alastair McCraw, addressing the issue of the Manningtree rail crossing, says if there was a solution to congestion there it would have been done by now, and that both Suffolk and Essex county councils want the other to pay for it.

Warning of road closure in Thurston

Walker-Hebborn through to semi-finals of the 50m backstroke

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Less than 24 hours after helping Great Britain to mixed-relay gold at the European Swimming Championships, Chris Walker-Hebborn was back in the pool this morning.

The Suffolk swimmer was 13th quickest in the heats for the 50m backstroke, and goes through to tonight's semi-finals.

What next for former Lowestoft Hospital site after services move?

Steve Blower

BBC Radio Suffolk

Many people are asking what will happen to the former Lowestoft Hospital site now a number of outpatient services have moved to Kirkley Clinic. 

It's said the new location will offer more modern and suitable accommodation, but it leaves a question mark over what will become of the Victorian building. 

Andy Evans, from the NHS in North Suffolk, said the plan was to have sheltered housing and community facilities on the site.

"We're hopefully in the final stages of drawing together plans so that the site can be used for the benefit of the people of Lowestoft," he said.

Lowestoft Hospital services move to Kirkley Clinic

Steve Blower

BBC Radio Suffolk

NHS services are on the move in Lowestoft, with a new site at Kirkley Clinic taking over work which was being done at the old Victorian Lowestoft Hospital.

Lowestoft Hospital

The site officially closed in 2014, but a few services remained at the family health resource centre in the Tennyson Building.

Now dermatology, community pediatrics, antenatal, rheumatology and dietetics will be provided at the Kirkley Care Clinic in Lowestoft. 

Phlebotomy services and the community dental service will continue to be provided from the mobile dental surgery, on the old hospital site, until suitable accommodation in the town can be found.

Ipswich continuing Payne pursuit

TWTD understands that Town are continuing to pursue their interest in Southend United midfielder Jack Payne.  

Brantham planning: Meeting told site is 'heavily contaminated'

Kevin Burch

BBC Look East

Planning officer Stuart McAdam has told the meeting the industrial site is "heavily contaminated".

He said discussions about the area had been going on for years, and this outline scheme was an opportunity to finally see it transformed.

A planning inspector has already said that without money generated through new homes, the scheme simply isn't viable.

Planning meeting under way to decide regeneration plan for Brantham

Kevin Burch

BBC Look East

Babergh councillors have begun considering an application to develop a derelict industrial site and build 300 homes on greenfield land at Brantham.

Campaigners are watching proceedings, which are also being relayed to an overflow room for members of the public.

Planners are being recommended to approve the proposal, with certain conditions.

Brantham planning meeting

Planners to decide on future of Wardle Storeys site in Brantham

The future of the Wardle Storeys site in Brantham should be decided today, when Babergh planners meet to consider a planning application which includes building more than 300 homes on adjacent farmland.

Applicant St Francis Group says it's not viable to develop the derelict factory site without building the homes on the greenfield site.

Wardle Storeys site Brantham
Greenfield site

Marketmen make Izzet available for transfer

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk Sport

Needham Market have confirmed that midfielder Kem Izzet has been made available for transfer.

Kem Izzet

The former Colchester United player joined the Marketmen in 2013, and helped Mark Morsley's side achieve promotion to the Ryman Premier Division last year.

In recent weeks, Izzet had been linked with the manager's job at Colchester, before John McGreal was appointed in the role earlier this month.

Sudbury fire 'cost Oxfam £100,000'

Steve Blower

BBC Radio Suffolk

Oxfam, the last shop to reopen in Sudbury after September's major fire, says it's lost about £100,000 from being closed.

Sudbury fire
Suffolk County Council

Elsa Lennox, one of the managers at the shop, said: "We were one of the most successful Oxfam shops in the area so we've lost a lot of money. As I understand it, about £100,000, which is a significant amount.

"As you can imagine, it's been a bit of a blow for Oxfam in the area. Hopefully we can start making that up again when we open (next month)."

Two men released as part of fatal road crash inquiry

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Two men have been released by police investigating a fatal road crash in Bungay on Friday.

Shane Lay
Suffolk Police

Shane Lay (pictured), 42, was killed while walking his dog on Bridge Street at about 01:40.

A 48-year-old man who was arrested on Monday has been released on bail pending further inquiries, while the other man has been released without charge.

Wednesday's weather: Showery rain, some heavy

Aisling Creevey

BBC Look East weather

It will be rather cloudy at first, with some outbreaks of showery rain. This will continue, with some locally heavy showers developing. Top temperature: 14C (57F).

Any residual heavy showers will die out, leaving partly cloudy conditions. Lows of 7C (45F).

You can get the full forecast where you live, from BBC Weather.

U16s defeated in Hospital Cup

Ipswich Town’s U16s fell to a 2-1 defeat to Norwich City in this year’s Hospital Cup game at Carrow Road.

Fire service cuts 'reflect concerns from consultation'

We haven't spoken to Suffolk County Council since its cabinet yesterday voted through £1m of cuts to the fire service, but its chief fire officer gave his views last week when the new proposals were revealed.

Mark Hardingham said: "The adjustment to the proposals reflects my advice and questions and concerns that have come up through public consultation." 

Suffolk Fire Service sign

County council 'failed to listen to people in Suffolk'

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

The leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Suffolk County Council is accusing the ruling Conservatives of not listening to the views of people in the county on fire service cuts.

Fire engine

David Wood said: "I honestly don't think they've listened to the 20,000 people of Suffolk that spoke out against these cuts. 

"I'm very concerned we've lost the resilience that second appliance at Princes Street gave us, and that's where my real concern lies."

It's gold again for Chris Walker-Hebborn!

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Chris Walker-Hebborn (second left) is celebrating a fourth European Swimming title after helping Great Britain to gold in the 4x100m mixed relay last night.

Adam Peaty, Chris Walker-Hebborn, Fran Halsall and Siobhan Marie O'Connor

The 25-year-old, who won three gold medals at the Euros in 2014, teamed up with Adam Peaty, Fran Halsall and Siobhan Marie O'Connor at the Aquatics Centre in London.

Walker-Hebborn, who grew up in Bury St Edmunds, will be back in the pool later this morning for the heats of the 50m backstroke.

Cuts are 'dangerous to people of Suffolk'

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

The Fire Brigades Union in Suffolk says the £1m worth of cuts to the county's fire service, which were voted through by the county council yesterday afternoon, are "dangerous to the people of Suffolk, and dangerous to Suffolk firefighters".

Firefighters in cherry picker

Spokesman Roy Humphries said: "Firefighters give their best, it's always a shame when county councillors don't do that for the firefighters."

The cuts mean fewer full-time firefighters, and a reduction of fire engines in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Lowestoft.