Kirton and Falkenham

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Innocence Farm

20 October 2016

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FelixstowePeninsula; Under Threat From Excessive Development

We are fortunate to live in such a pleasant environment:

  • The lands adjoining the Deben and Orwell rivers are listed as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
  • In addition to Felixstowe, the   AONBs, the countryside and the   river banks are beautiful places to visit
  • We have a good selection of local shops in Felixstowe, the Trimleys and Walton
  • We have a range of major local employers including the port, transport companies and BT.

 But this balance is under threat from proposed inappropriate development.

Our environment is under significant risk from the threat of development  

  • Trinity College, part of Cambridge University, owns a significant amount of land on the peninsula.   It is proposing to build extensive housing, retail facilities and a major industrial site on the peninsula.
  • Trinity College is suggesting the construction of a substantial industrial site on green field agricultural land at Innocence Farm.   Innocence Farm lies between Trimley and Kirton; the size of the proposed development would dwarf Ransomes Europark. (The proposed site is marked in red and indicated by an arrow on the map.)
  • Suffolk Coastal District Council is proposing to allow a further 1,760 houses to be built on the Felixstowe peninsula.

What would the impact of these developments be?

  • The proposed development at Innocence Farm would be a major contribution to industrial ribbon development along the A14 and would urbanise nearly a third of the remaining green field separation between Felixstowe and Ipswich.     It would create a precedent for further development which could result in an Ipswich/Felixstowe conurbation, removing the distinction between the two towns.
  • Extra industrial development and housing would create additional pressure on the road infrastructure of the peninsula.   The A14 is already very busy, and the Orwell bridge traffic exceeds its capacity at peak periods.     When closed due to problems the traffic then blocks up Ipswich.   The proposed developments would make that worse, and increase the frequency with which the road is blocked, preventing reliable travel to and from the peninsula.
  • Damage to our widely enjoyed natural environment and wildlife
  • 24 hour operation of warehousing, container and lorry movements, together with a proposed new rail terminal, would mean round the clock noise disturbance and light pollution to our local communities.
  • Once the agricultural land is gone it's gone forever

What should the next actions be?

  • We fully appreciate the importance of the port and transport business for employment, and acknowledge that container and warehouse facilities are needed.    
  • Decision makers should not be swayed by media communications by Trinity College’s agent; it is no surprise that they have identified their own agricultural land as the most suitable for industrial use given that that will increase its value massively.
  • It is imperative that our District and County Councils take a strategic view, rather than simply responding to applications for development of green fields by owners of land between Felixstowe and Ipswich.

What are the alternatives to Innocence Farm?  

  •  Very large areas within the current port perimeter are concreted over but currently unused.
  • Suffolk Coastal District Council has identified other suitable sites which are either existing industrial sites or have been allocated for industrial development.
  • A recent meeting between Mid Suffolk District Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Babergh District Council, and Suffolk County Council identified a site outside of the Felixstowe Peninsula as a site to be supported for Felixstowe Port container handling expansion.
  • The provision of container storage and warehousing sites which lie to the west of Orwell Bridge would mitigate A14 traffic congestion problems; development on the Felixstowe peninsular would aggravate them.

The elected Parish Councils of Bucklesham, Kirton & Falkenham, Levington and Stratton Hall, and Trimley are working together to protect the remaining land of the peninsula from excessive development.

We are working on behalf of all those who believe that what remains of our countryside should be protected for our children and grandchildren.

Map showing the size of the proposed development in relation to local villages.