Tag Archives: Martlesham

Proposed Gladman development on Woodbridge fringe

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.
  • Sandy Lane Gladman plan detailThe  ‘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

EA One Offshore Windfarm – grave implications for local countryside

This is just a brief post to alert people that the East Anglia ONE consultation concerning the proposed onshore cabling from the proposed offshore windfarm  finishes on 6 March. Please respond with your concerns.

The proposal is for buried cabling – which many consider more aesthetic than  pylons, but which will be cutting a 55metre-wide swathe across a significant distance of unspoiled Suffolk coastal countryside:  from Bawdsey, across the Deben estuary, travelling north past  Newbourne, Waldringfield, tunnelling under across Martlesham creek, and turning west  on our very own Sandy Lane, where there will be a ‘Primary construction consolidation site’ whatever that might be. It will then tunnel under the A12 and travel the length of the  Finn Valley, past Little Bealings, Playford, Tuddenham St Martin, and Akenham, before  turning south to Bramford.

THis is the proposed rout of the  windfarm cabling from Bawdsey along the west side of the Deben and down the Fynn Valley. Click for larger view
The proposed route of EA One windfarm cabling from Bawdsey along the west side of the Deben and down the Fynn Valley. Click for larger view

May I repeat that this will cut a swathe 55m wide for most of the distance between Bawdsey and Bramford, with a temporary access road along the  whole length; that it will remove ancient trees (particularly, East Anglia ONE acknowledge, in Newbourne and Martlesham) and there can be no tree replanting over the top.

It may be that this will have a greater impact on portions of the route than pylons. We know of no pylon that is more than a few decades old – some of the trees what will go may have lived for centuries.

The planned works will take place over a  couple of years, from, I think, 2015. During the time there will be a considerable impact both on– and off-road. I’m not talking only of the valued  footpath infrastructure, but the fact tht these works will cross-over with the proposed Sizewell C building – and the proposed large-scale housing development at Martlesham. Rather a triple whammy, tourism-wise.

I will be responding on behalf of the people of Woodbridge as a whole. My interest will be in stressing the need for adequate mitigation (to put it mildly) and preventing as far as possible, negative impacts.  As with the SIzewell consultation, my underlying feeling is that we should not be bearing the brunt of development for the good of the nation as a whole, without the nation recognising this, putting time and effort  into ensuring minimum impact, and compensating us adequately for our kindness!

 

 the cable at Woodbridge
the cable at Woodbridge

Do contact me if there are issues you wish me to raise on your behalf.

 

Ipswich Park & Ride consultation: a blink and you missed it!

In December the County Council launched a very brief consultation regarding the future commissioning of the Ipswich Park and Ride service.  Officers stressed that  “this consultation is not about cutting the service; the three questions were about how we deliver it in future.”

However, the questions were limited, leading and offered no opportunity to comment. The time given for people to respond to the survey was extremely short and included the Christmas holiday. There was very little publicity for the survey, apart from a notice in the buses themselves.

Given such circumstances, the actual point of this survey could be called into question!

The questions were :–

  1. Would it be acceptable to use buses that are not dedicated to the Park and Ride scheme to deliver the service so long as a high frequency service is still maintained?
  2. If the services were changed so as not to offer the cross town link would this seriously disadvantage you as a passenger? (Currently the Park and Ride services are linked to each other so that a bus leaving one site goes all the way through Ipswich to the other site. A proposal is that the Park and Ride scheme reverts to its original operation with buses from each site going to the town centre only and returning to the same site. This may have the effect of improving reliability but may require some passengers to change buses in the town centre).
  3. If staff were not present on site would this have an impact on your journey? (Currently the Park and Ride sites are manned whilst the service is operating. They assist passengers and ensure that the facilities are kept to a high standard. A proposal is that the buildings could be used in a different way that still provide basic facilities (rest rooms etc) to passengers but without staff being present at all times.)

As a Martlesham Parish Councillor pointed out, “it was an exceptionally primitive survey indeed.. I would argue very strongly that it is quite useless for the purpose implied in the email below. In particular the answer to the simple question which asked whether you would use the service if it relied on existing bus routes depends largely on the journey time and seat availability of the alternatives.  For example if it meant using the 66 through then the answer for many would be no as it takes too long.”

Recent events have highlighted SCC’s poor record on consultation over public transport matters – for example their unilateral decision-making on concessionary fares.

While it can only be good to see a recognition of this, however belated, I suspect it might also be a good idea to give training on how to actually create surveys. It seems to me that SurveyMonkey has a lot to answer for!