Felixstowe: Gardeners at Ferry Road allotments fear ancient hedge could be destroyed for homes
17:03 28 May 2014
Allotment holders fear an ancient hedge full of wildlife could be grubbed out when developers start work on a new 200-home housing estate on the edge of Felixstowe.
Gardeners say the hedge alongside the town council’s Ferry Road allotments is teeming with birds, insects and different plants and could be up to 500 years old.
Suffolk Coastal has given the go-ahead for homes on the field next to the allotments between Ferry Road and Estuary Drive as part of the future growth of the town.
The plan was controversial with 230 objections lodged, with concerns over the impact on the AONB, light and air pollution, extra traffic on already congested roads, and the loss of grade two farmland.
Now allotment holders are worried about the fate of the hedge which borders the development.
Campaigner Trevor Lockwood, also an allotment holder, said: “I just cannot get an assurance about the future of the hedge. It would be an absolutely terrible act of vandalism if it was ripped out.
“I have done a survey along its length and the amount of species per metre would suggest it is hundreds of years old – possibly as old as 500 – and some of its trees ought to have tree preservation orders.”
Mr Lockwood said it was much-loved feature of the area, and also gave vital protection to the allotments.
Suffolk Coastal is waiting for Optima Land and Property and their planning consultants JCN Design to submit detailed proposals for the site following approval for an outline consent.
Michael Smith, of JCN Design, said that until detailed designs were drawn up it was not known what would happen to the hedge.
The company had three years in order to do this and a decision was still to be taken over whether to sell to another developer, who might have their own ideas for the land.
However, the hedge provided a natural boundary to the site and could be kept for that reason.