May 22 2013 Latest news:
by richard cornwell
Thursday, January 24, 2013
MOVES to build an acoustic barrier alongside the A14 to cut lorry noise which is making residents’ lives a misery today look set to fail.
Instead householders are set to be offered the opportunity of free triple-glazing to keep out the traffic din.
The latest moves follow months of investigations – including a full-scale sound survey to identify the worst affected areas of Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary – with £500,000 available for the project as part of the mitigation for the most recent port expansion.
Councillor Graham Harding, who on behalf of Trimley St Mary Parish Council has been putting pressure on Suffolk Coastal and the Port of Felixstowe to resolve the noise problems, said both the barrier and triple-glazing options were still on the table.
However, the barrier could only be put in place if all affected residents agreed, as any gap would mean it would not work – and there was already opposition on the Farmlands estate.
“The barrier would be three metres high and just six feet away from existing back garden fences,” said Mr Harding.
“There would be a significant visual impact close to the property although a huge benefit in reduction in the sound of traffic on the A14.”
There were concerns though not only about the sight of the barrier, but also that the six feet gap – needed for maintenance – would create a corridor that might be used for anti-social behaviour or as a dump for garden waste, attracting vermin.
Some residents canvassed in Fen Meadow and Thomas Avenue had been against the proposal.
This would leave the only option as triple-glazing but councillors said there would need to be a clear explanation from the port and district council as to why some properties qualified and others did not.
Letters would be sent soon to households.
“The parish council has tried to act as an honest broker in this matter to get some action – there is some urgency because if the work is not done soon the money will be lost,” said Mr Harding.
Parish council chairman Colin Jacobs said: “It is a shame we cannot stop the noise at the source – sound absorbent road surfacing would cure most of the problems.”