Marshes set for expansion

EXTENDING the acclaimed Trimley Marshes nature reserve is one of a long list of projects unveiled today in a £600 million development programme for part of Suffolk.

EXTENDING the acclaimed Trimley Marshes nature reserve is one of a long list of projects unveiled today in a £600 million development programme for part of Suffolk.

The idea to increase the size of the 250-acre man-made wetland reserve - habitat for breeding waders such as redshank, avocet, oystercatcher and black-tailed godwit - next to the Port of Felixstowe will be welcomed by conservationists.

Other schemes in the programme put forward by the Haven Gateway Partnership include town centre improvements and regeneration packages for Ipswich and Felixstowe.

Historical, innovation and cultural projects; “ green” projects such as creating new open spaces, and improving river areas and country parks; flood alleviation works for Ipswich town centre; energy supply for Adastral Park; improvements to major trunk roads, including the A12; and cycle links, park and ride projects and improved pedestrian facilities are also on the list.


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The partnership has just made a bid for £57m from government for its plans for 2008-2011.

Chief executive David Ralph said the economic climate was extremely challenging, but believed the credit crunch made investment even more critical.

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“We are starting to see the pace of growth slow, particularly in the housing sector,” he said.

“Some developers have definitely pulled back from development as funding is harder and more expensive to come by - although demand is still there, particularly for affordable houses.

“Homes at the right price, of the right quality and in the right locations are continuing to sell.

“But at a time like this, infrastructure investment by the public sector becomes even more critical.

“This does bring its challenges, because we know that there simply isn't the headroom in the central government funding available that was there before.”

The partnership expects to receive a response to the funding request by Christmas and remains optimistic of a good level of support.

“We are successfully achieving stronger and more evidenced-based negotiations with the government and its departments and agencies. We believe that in this way we can start to close the major infrastructure funding gap that is already apparent in this region,” said Mr Ralph.

What improvements would you like to see in the Ipswich and Felixstowe area? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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