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Campaigners warn A12 bypass would destroy ‘special’ countryside and pave way for hundreds of new homes

PUBLISHED: 20:15 10 February 2018 | UPDATED: 20:15 10 February 2018

Some of the countryside campaigners say would be lost if the bypass is built. Picture: MARK HOWARD

Some of the countryside campaigners say would be lost if the bypass is built. Picture: MARK HOWARD

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A new campaign has been formed opposing a Suffolk bypass – warning it would see the unnecessary destruction of important countryside at great expense to the taxpayer.

Options for the Four Villages Bypass on the A12 Suffolk Energy Gateway route. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL Options for the Four Villages Bypass on the A12 Suffolk Energy Gateway route. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

The “Say No To The Four Village Bypass” group has hired lawyers to investigate Suffolk County Council’s (SCC) £133m proposals to divert the A12, with the view to bringing a legal challenge.

The scheme, which would see a bypass built around Marlesford, Little Glemham, Farnham and Stratford St Andrew, has been sought by some of the community for 20 years. Village residents have complained about traffic, which they say will worsen during the construction of Sizewell C.

Recently, the project made significant progress after SCC submitted a business case to the government, calling it the Suffolk Energy Gateway, with a decision on funding expected late spring.

Now, however, the new campaign has highlighted contrasting views.

Campaigners calling for the four villages bypass. Picture: ARCHANT Campaigners calling for the four villages bypass. Picture: ARCHANT

Campaign chairman Graham Peck has questioned whether it is sensible to spend £133m on a four mile road through countryside.

Mr Peck, who lives in Little Glemham near to the proposed diversion route, said he did not believe the traffic issues warranted such a major scheme, particularly as it would save only three minutes on journeys.

He highlighted EDF Energy’s comments that Sizewell C’s traffic could be dealt with through improvements to the “Farnham bend”, which he said would be less damaging to the environment and less likely to bring more development.

“I’m very concerned that with plans for more than 10,000 new homes to be built in Suffolk Coastal, the road will be used to unlock green field sites,” he added.

“People who live along the A12 should be very careful what they wish for because if this road goes ahead, they might find themselves surrounded by hundreds of new homes.”

Mr Peck said he was also concerned about the damage caused to Suffolk’s “special” environment by building across the Alde and Ore rivers.

He says the campaign’s Facebook group has grown quickly.

One of its members, Mark Howard, said the bypass would be a “complete and utter disaster”.

SCC has said previously the bypass would deliver economic growth and enhance the quality of life for local people.

Visit the campaign’s Facebook group to find out more.

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