Farnham/Stratford St Andrew: Villages call for unity over the campaign for an A12 bypass
08:00 18 February 2014
Villages in Suffolk campaigning for a bypass to alleviate long-standing traffic problems have called for unity to avoid weakened forms of the proposal taking hold.
Farnham with Stratford St Andrew Parish Council (FSAPC)insists it will continue to back the “four villages bypass” to ease congestion from the proposed construction of Sizewell C.
The move follows concerns raised by the other two villages included in the A12 bypass plans - Marlesford and Little Glemham - that their neighbours were willing to accept a scaled back version of the scheme from which they would be excluded.
FSAPC chairman Ian Norman said any two villages scheme would “cause unrest” amongst the neighbouring parishes and that “full pressure” should be applied for EDF - Sizewell’s developer - to go ahead with the entire scheme.
“My view is that everyone was wholeheartedly for the four or nothing,” he said, speaking at the latest parish council meeting.
Although the councillors conceded that they would feel compelled to accept a two village scheme “if it was the only offer on the table” they felt the only real solution to the wider traffic problems would be for the full bypass to proceed.
Mr Norman said there had been some concern that Suffolk County Council was “welshing” on its commitment to pursue that option - despite the authority’s recent insistence it was “not going soft on the four villages bypass”.
Andrew Reid, the county councillor for Farnham and Stratford St Andrew, speaking at the meeting, reiterated that commitment.
“I’m going for the whole lot and I’m very clear about that,” he said.
However, Mr Reid also stressed that the only way for the bypass to be built was with funding from EDF as part of its Sizewell C proposals.
“We don’t have the money to spend on it directly as a county council,” he said.
“We need to focus on getting as much as we can from EDF.”
The company is currently carrying out an analysis of the impacts on traffic posed by the potential construction of Sizewell C. A spokesman added: “Once we have concluded this process, we will consult local residents and the local authorities on the outcomes and our resulting proposals to limit the impact of our construction traffic, which will be in line with planning policy guidelines.”
Parish clerk Debbi Tayler suggested the council and residents of the four villages should continue highlighting the issue to higher forms of government while that report was being completed.
“I think lobbying the MP is one of the most important things we can do,” she said.
Suffolk County Council is also seeking a contribution from the New Anglia Local Economic Partnership to fund the project.
The second stage of consultation in to Sizewell C is due to take place later this year.