I have written with the significant concerns I have regarding the outline planning application proposed for the land east of Bridge Farm, Top Street, Martlesham – the impact of which would fall within the Woodbridge division.
While we all recognise the desperate need for affordable housing in oue area, I would be very concerned if permission for this particular development were to go ahead (particularly as the proposed development of 2000 houses at Martlesham Adastral Park still remains under consideration).
Apart from the fact that this is the last piece of greenfield separating Woodbridge from Martlesham – a fact which holds great significance for both communities – my principal concerns deal with transport:
- The application proposes vehicular access. Proposed access for residents’ cars is onto
i) a narrow uphill section of Top Street just after a railway bridge and
ii) a wider, but heavily used and equally uphill section of B1438 (here called Ipswich Road ) which is heavily used, being the main access road through Woodbridge.
Neither seem to be adequate or appropriate exits onto the roads in question. There appear to be no other viable options.
- The ‘proposed public open space footpath route’ as labelled on the Gladman plan (see left – click to enlarge: an open corridor that leads from Sandy Lane, at a place that has no pavement towards Woodbridge or ongoing footpath without a risky walk around a blind bend under the railway bridge, to a part of Top Street which has no pavement or ongoing footpath) is misleading. It is in fact the corridor through which the EA One underground high tension cabling is due to be routed. And on which restrictive covenants will remain in place afterwards preventing building and planting (further details here ) This is therefore not a ‘proposed public open space footpath route’ but a guaranteed space along which it is not possible to build or plant, which leads to nowhere substantive – and for which any developer needs to find an explanation.
- I do not know what the planning guidance is on EMFs (Electro magnetic fields) and health when planning a new development – particularly one housing young families, and most particularly when there is a proposed children’s play area right next to buried high voltage lines? The location causes me considerable disquiet.
- Planning development with affordable housing will help house young families who cannot afford local prices. Sadly this development would not encourage children to walk to school or socialise in Woodbridge, or indeed encourage any residents to walk to Woodbridge, or young parents with buggies to walk anywhere as the ‘footpath’ debouches onto two pieces of road without footways. If the primary catchment is Kyson (as Kyson’s catchment map suggests) there will be no safe means to walk to the school, unless a crossing is built across the Ipswich Road. Apart from expense, this which would cause congestion and possible accidents in rush hour as the B1438 is the principal exit route for Woodbridge commuters.
However, without a crossing, the County Council will potentially face a large and ongoing bill for education transport on ‘safety of the route’ grounds.
The other great need for affordable housing is amongst the older downsizers. These may often have the same requirements for pedestrian access as young families. And again these are not met.
In short, if a housing development – and specifically one with a significant affordable element – is proposed, it needs to be placed where it is safe and convenient for people to live and where they find safe and convenient ways to get to work, to education and to socialise. The location of this proposed development does not provide for this