Fears over container park

CREEPING port development today left angry residents anxiously looking over their garden fences at the possibility of a container park on their doorsteps.

CREEPING port development today left angry residents anxiously looking over their garden fences at the possibility of a container park on their doorsteps.

But they will have to wait and see if their biggest fear comes true - with some saying noise from project could be louder than Concorde and constant.

Councillors have given the go-ahead for an earlier than expected start on the development of the massive Clickett Hill industrial site at Trimley St Mary.

Householders have always known the 170-acre site between the A14 and High Road would be a business park, but they are furious Suffolk Coastal has allowed it to happen without protective measures already agreed.


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Councillors granted permission for container storage parks to be created without a £2.5 million traffic safety scheme, landscaping and huge earthworks to stop noise, which is expected to be louder than originally proposed.

Resident Terry Lomax, of Chatsworth Crescent, Trimley St Mary, said people were furious at the way the permission had been "nodded through" by councillors without any of the safeguards previously agreed for the community.

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"They have sanctioned the dock's inability to recycle its empty containers - and this is a council which is always exhorting its ratepayers to go out of their way to recycle at selective council sites," he said.

Residents feared noise from the container park, where empty 9ft 6in boxes will be stacked five high, will be as loud as Concorde.

"As someone who lived all his life next to Heathrow until 2003, I can tell you one big difference - Concorde leaves your environment pretty quickly. This bit of council sleight-of-hand will be with us a long time," said Mr Lomax.

Trimley Parish Council also said it would not condone any flexibility on the increase in noise levels, while Suffolk Preservation Society feared noise could have a serious impact on residents.

But planning officers told the south area development control sub committee noise would not be a problem as background noise levels in Trimley had increased in the past five years and were now greater than the levels set for the development.

However, the council's head of head is insisting sound power levels of vehicles to be used in the container storage parks, machinery and equipment, and hours of working, must be assessed and agreed before each site is occupied.

Landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, sought the changes for the business park - agreed in 1999 - because it has so far failed to attract anyone to use it and wants to kick-start the development.

One reason for the failure of negotiations has often been the scale of work needed before building can start, proving uneconomic for small firms looking for land for their business.

However, Trinity says it will put in place the protective measures in later phases of the scheme.

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