Families fear losing out to port growth

FAMILIES living in west Felixstowe claim they are the filling in a "container sandwich" and their environment will be made worse if Felixstowe port grows.

FAMILIES living in west Felixstowe claim they are the filling in a "container sandwich" and their environment will be made worse if Felixstowe port grows.

Councillors for the resort's west ward told the public inquiry into the proposed £242 million expansion of the port people on Cavendish Park, Orwell Green and Grange Farm already suffer noise, vibration and traffic problems.

Mike Ninnmey and Harry Dangerfield presented a number of documents to the inquiry as well as a survey of residents in the area.

They said the six-week inquiry seemed to be considering action to help residents of other areas affected by the port, but not their constituents.

Mr Ninnmey said: "If they do not get the containers on the west side of our ward from the A14, they will get them on the east side as we have got a spur railtrack going on the other side of our ward.

"So we are the bit of meat in the middle and we are looking to ensure that that stays reasonable and fresh and the folks living there have a quality of life that is the best that it can be."

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He called for proper mitigation to offset the problems, particularly for those living just above the Port of Felixstowe Road "valley" where pollution gathers and then rises onto the estates and farmland.

He said: "It would appear we already have agreements to protect some communities and the one that seems to have been missed, for whatever reason, is west ward residents."

The inquiry comes to an end this week when inspector Michael Ellison will leave to draw up his report and consider his decision.

The expansion scheme will see Landguard Terminal demolished and re-built further out into the harbour to create a new 1,350m deepwater quay to handle three ultra large container ships and a smaller one simultaneously.

It will also put an extra one million lorries on the A14 on the Felixstowe peninsula, leading to major changes at the dock spur roundabout and improvements at the Copdock interchange.

The Highways Agency is also seeking improvements to the A14 between Seven Hill and Copdock, where stretched - including the Orwell Bridge - could be at capacity within a decade.

n Do you live in Felixstowe's west ward - what do you think port expansion will mean for your environment? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1An, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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