Traffic concerns raised at public display for potential Martlesham police HQ 250 homes

Aerial plans for the layout of the Martlesham police HQ site 250 homes Picture: YELLOBELLY

Aerial plans for the layout of the Martlesham police HQ site 250 homes Picture: YELLOBELLY - Credit: Yellobelly

Early plans to develop the Martlesham police headquarters into 250 homes went on display for the first time yesterday.

Letters were issued to nearby homes earlier this month inviting them to have their say on the proposals, which have been tabled by police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore as potential cost cutting measures for the force.

The plans, on display at the Martlesham Heath Pavilion between 3pm and 8pm outlined some of the considerations, including a mix of apartments and 2-4 bed homes, and a traffic assessment having been commissioned.

Duncan Potter, acting head of estates at Suffolk Constabulary, said: “For us it’s to gain community feedback for the commissioner, either positive or negative. It really is about what are the options for the future.”

The display boards said it was also about ensuring that its premises were “fit for purpose”.

Some police activity has already moved to Landmark House in Ipswich – a shared building with Suffolk County Council – but Mr Potter said there was existing land surrounding it which could be developed for police use.

Scores of people gathered to view the plans, with a host of concerns raised.

Among them was the amount of traffic already on the road network in the area, whether Portal Avenue was an adequate route on and off the site, GPs and schools already being oversubscribed and the potential for it to create an urban sprawl into Portal Woods.

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Nearby homeowner Graham Timson said: “Initial concern is about increased traffic congestion. Martlesham Heath is really starting to suffer the effects of the industrial estate, which is really a retail park now.”

Richard Saunders added: “They say they want to move somewhere fit for purpose. It’s only recently they built a brand new investigation centre here and all of a sudden it’s not fit for purpose?”

The approval of 2,000 homes at Adastral Park earlier in the year was also raised as a concern.

Feedback is being gathered until July 20, after which a more detailed proposition will begin to be formed. It is understood an outline planning application will be submitted later this year with a view to a decision in early 2019.

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