Petition into Snape Maltings car park plan attracts 1,500 signatures
PUBLISHED: 13:28 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:28 20 April 2017
Opposition to a car park in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty mounted at a public meeting last night as residents vowed “we will fight you and we will win”.
A petition against the 470-space car park at Snape Maltings has attracted more than 1,500 signatures, including 300 from residents in Snape - equating to 60% of the village’s adult population.
The proposed car park will be part of the 2022 Masterplan for the Creative Campus, which will see 25% of the site’s derelict buildings transformed into accommodation for musicians, additional retail facilities including a proposed bike shop and tutoring rooms for students.
Aldeburgh Music wants to build the car park and a footbridge across the river to serve Snape Maltings.
Although formal plans have not yet been submitted, the scheme has already been met with fraught opposition from the community.
Teresa Cook, landlady of The Crown pub in Snape, said: “You have offended all of us. We don’t want it, the parish council don’t want it, lots of musicians and lots of your own people don’t want it.
“You need to stop it, if not we will fight you and we will win.
“I’m horrified that this car park is going to be next door to my rare breed pigs which are an integral part of my business.
“Some of those pigs are rarer than the Siberian Tiger and you don’t care about that.”
Derek Walduck, a member of the Green Snape group which launched the petition, said: “A grassing marsh is a classic Suffolk landscape. The whole idea would be so visually intrusive, it’s vandalism on a landscape scale.”
Harry Young, general manager of Snape Maltings, said: “We brought the site on March 31, 2015, and have been working pretty tirelessly ever since then on these two issues: flood defences and car parking.
“We have a very real issue of flood defences and car parking which we feel we must try to solve if we are going to fulfil all the ambitions make the site the best creative campus it possibly can be.
“We would never want to create a car park made out of concrete or tarmac and we would never want tall floodlights.
“We would only ever be interested in creating something that was grass topped.
“We understand how precious that landscape is, so we not taking for granted the extraordinary challenge we face.”
He went on to explain that efforts would be made to obscure the cars using bunds and willow trees, adding: “We don’t give everyone a ghastly view of windscreens.”
Tim Beech, a member of Snape Parish council said: “We have had a look at the petition, over 300 of those signatures are from Snape residents.
“The view, in terms of the feasibility for the car park, was 98% against the car park, and even with mitigation that Harry outlined in some detail, including lights and flooding, that only changed that by a couple of per cent – 96% of people did not want that car park for any circumstances on that land – it was that clear.”
Roger Wright, chief executive of Snape Maltings, said: “We are exploring all the options. We are not here to offend any neighbours.”
A statement by Snape parish council said: “Given the strength and feelings from the village, Snape parish council has decided to launch its opposition to those parking plans.
“The council recognises the Malting work and significance, but we would strongly encourage them to fully consider the potential impact additional sensitive issues.”
Snape Maltings is currently awaiting flood modelling plans.