Port expansion fears of residents

FAMILIES in west Felixstowe have said they will face increased traffic, noise, vibration, and light pollution if the town's port expands – and nothing has been done to help them.

FAMILIES in west Felixstowe have said they will face increased traffic, noise, vibration, and light pollution if the town's port expands – and nothing has been done to help them.

While agreement has been reached for a £400,000 acoustic barrier along the A14 at Trimley, no measures have been put in place for people living next to the port and dual carriageway in Cavendish Park, Orwell Green and Grange Farm.

Councillor Mike Ninnmey said it was "an unbelievable omission" from the legal agreements connected to the port's proposed expansion and people would feel very let down by the town and district councils.

"Our concern is there was no provision or request to mitigate the effects of the growth of the traffic going past west ward," he said.

"There is a long list of things which will be done, including for the people of Trimley sound attenuation barriers.

"But there is no magic solution for west ward whose residents are already subjected to more and more traffic, vibration, noise, light pollution and other environmental problems.

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"The port public inquiry inspector visited the area and he was surprised because he had thought it was an industrial area and not housing estates.

"The measures west ward will need to protect its environment is something the ward councillors will have to pursue.

"But people will feel the residents of Trimley have been far better looked after by their councils than Felixstowe has and will be astounded when they see this."

The port's £242million expansion – if given the government go-ahead – will generate more rail cargo for the line running through the area, and one million more lorries a year on the Port of Felixstowe Road next to the estates.

Mr Ninnmey said: "Part of this route is in a cutting but that causes problems, but there are also raised sections very close to homes."

Andy Smith, chairman of the town council plans committee, said: "I don't think anyone chose to neglect west ward but the Trimley question had been discussed for a long time, even before the port expansion was even considered.

"It was a question for Trimley and this was an opportunity taken to address that very long running agenda item.

"There was no issue of that sort raised locally when we discussed our input into the port expansion – and if there had been a problem and it had been raised I am sure we would have included it.

"From a technical point of view, traffic next to west ward is in a very deep cutting, unlike at Trimley where it is on the level and houses are very close to the road and there is also quite dense woodland and vegetation."

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