Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

Garden centre decision day looms

PUBLISHED: 01:00 16 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:50 03 March 2010

A DECISION over a controversial proposal for a garden centre in Kesgrave could be through before Christmas, it has been revealed today.

More than 50 residents gathered together for a public hearing over businessman Chris Ling's application to build the centre on the A1214 running through the town.

A DECISION over a controversial proposal for a garden centre in Kesgrave could be through before Christmas, it has been revealed today.

More than 50 residents gathered together for a public hearing over businessman Chris Ling's application to build the centre on the A1214 running through the town.

The application has already been thrown out twice by Suffolk Coastal who said there was no need for another garden centre in the area.

Residents and members of the town council are bitterly opposed to the proposal which they say will cause environmental damage with the loss of trees and ancient hedgerow as well as major traffic chaos on an already congested road.

Appeals officer Simon Emerson met both sides at the Kesgrave Community Centre to consider Mr Ling's latest appeal.

Mr Ling who already owns a garden centre in nearby Martlesham Heath plans to use more than 1,000 square metres of the field opposite St Olaves Road for the centre as well as plant canopies, outdoor displays and a car park.

Although more than 20 jobs look to be created if the centre is given the go-ahead, residents in the town fear their lives will be made hell by added traffic chaos if another turning is added between the two Ropes Drive entrances.

Following a site visit at the end of the hearing Veronica Read, clerk of Kesgrave town Council, said it was expected that a decision would be reached before the end of the year.

During the hearing Trevor Sparkes, from Kesgrave Covenant Ltd who own the Grange Farm estate, disputed traffic reports by Suffolk County Council and said that a full traffic assessment needed to be carried out before the application could be considered.

It was revealed that the figures were only based on a survey that was done on early morning traffic and it was assumed that the figures would be the same in the evening.

But Chris Primett, who was representing Mr Ling, said that his team had taken photos every hour on the hour on both weekdays and Sundays and found that there was no evidence of queuing on the A1214.

However resident Ishbel Macdonald said that she has been constantly plagued by noise and pollution from the busy road.

She said: "One of the benefits of living in Kesgrave is that you are near to the countryside.

"But sometimes during the day the noise and pollution smells from the road can be quite overwhelming so we have to shut all the doors and windows."

Mr Emerson was also asked to take into account that Kesgrave High School, which is next to the planned site, has recently opened a sixth form and it is likely that some of the students will be driving.

The building of the garden centre is likely to result in the loss of some trees and part of an ancient hedge.

Arboriculturist Stephen Hayden, who was supporting Mr Ling, argued that left as it is at the moment the hedgerow would not be sustainable as the district council was arguing that it could be.

He said that parts of the hedgerow were dead and nothing would ever grow there again.

Mr Emerson was also told by planning officer Paul Coffey that there were other more suitable sites for the centre including the former Falcon Caravans site and the new Grange Farm employment area.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists