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Objectors fear more traffic congestion if police HQ site used for 300 homes

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 April 2020

An indicative plan of what the layout of the Martlesham police HQ site could be if planning permission for 300 homes is approved. Picture: CARTER JONAS

An indicative plan of what the layout of the Martlesham police HQ site could be if planning permission for 300 homes is approved. Picture: CARTER JONAS

Carter Jonas

Villagers have lodged a series of objections to plans to demolish Suffolk Constabulary’s headquarters and redevelop the site with up to 300 homes.

Villagers have lodged a series of objections to plans to demolish Suffolk Constabulary’s headquarters and redevelop the site with up to 300 homes.

The main concern is the traffic the project off Portal Avenue at Martlesham Heath would generate, sending hundreds of extra cars onto already busy local roads every day.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has said “nothing is set in stone” and at present he is trying to discover a value for the site to enable help with future decisions about police accommodation.

Great and Little Bealings Parish Councils are both worried about the traffic implications.

They fear it will encourage drivers to use roads through the villages to avoid increased congestion on Main Road, Martlesham.

“The roads are already overused at peak periods and cannot cope with additional traffic,” said Great Bealings PC.

Waldringfield Parish Council has also objected, saying the suggestion from a traffic assessment that there will be an overall reduction in vehicle movements and a negligible impact on road junctions “simply aren’t credible”.

The council said: “An extra 300 dwellings will inevitably add more traffic to the A1214 and A12, and to the roads and junctions feeding the business and retail parks to the east of the A12. These roads are already severely congested, often gridlocked, not only at peak times but for extended periods throughout the day, and this will get worse when the Brightwell Lakes houses are being built and when they are eventually occupied.”

The village is also worried about a number of other issues, including the lack of need for more major development in the area, no schools or medical facilities proposed for the extra population, and it does not comply with local plans.

Woodbridge Town Council has objected because of the loss of employment land/opportunities.

Mr Passmore said if developed for housing, the police investigation centre would be the only police presence left on the site.

He said: “In order to save money that can be re-invested into police services, we are exploring as one of the options the possibility of selling the site at Martlesham for development and relocating the headquarters elsewhere in the Ipswich area.

“Nothing is set in stone. We need to understand the true value of the site so that we can then make a decision as to whether it should be sold or not.

“Work will continue alongside the application process to more fully evaluate the costs of relocation and refurbishment options with particular regard to working closely with other public sector partners. the value of the site off Portal Avenue, in a bid to find out whether it is more financially viable to sell the land and find an alternative police HQ or carry out the repairs needed to the existing facilities.”

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