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Fears that proposed Snape Maltings car park will spoil Suffolk Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

PUBLISHED: 17:40 15 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:40 15 March 2017

Aldeburgh Music is proposing to build a car park opposite Snape Maltings. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Aldeburgh Music is proposing to build a car park opposite Snape Maltings. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Concreting over a Suffolk beauty spot to make way for a 470-space car park would have a ‘hideous visual impact’ on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it has been claimed.

Teresa Cook, owner of The Crown, is concerned about Aldeburgh Music's plans to build a car park opposite Snape Maltings.
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTeresa Cook, owner of The Crown, is concerned about Aldeburgh Music's plans to build a car park opposite Snape Maltings. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Landlady of The Crown Inn, Teresa Cook, has made the claim with proposals being explored to build a car park on the banks of the River Alde - a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Aldeburgh Music wants to build the car park and a footbridge across the river to serve Snape Maltings.

The site is known to have inspired some of the works of composer Benjamin Britten, and regularly attracts tourists and dog walkers.

Ms Cook said: “I am very worried...We already see a build-up of traffic from concerts and a large car park will mean more cars.

Teresa Cook, owner of The Crown, will have to move her pigs if the proposals go ahead. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTeresa Cook, owner of The Crown, will have to move her pigs if the proposals go ahead. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“I keep sheep, Suffolk Show-winning Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs and rare Large White pigs, which are on the rare breeds survival list, next to the fields so they will have to be moved. The land also floods regularly when it’s a high tide and the overall visual impact will be hideous.

“I understand that it’s difficult for Snape Maltings but I think it’s morally wrong to build on an SSSI and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Suffolk Wildlife Trust chief executive Julian Roughton said: “It is a very sensitive area of wetland, for birds such as snipe, barn owls and marsh harriers. About four of the 17 acres will be the proposed car park.

“If this will have a detrimental effect on wildlife we will advise Snape Maltings on wildlife enhancements.”

Aldeburgh Music is proposing to build a car park on land opposite Snape Maltings. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAldeburgh Music is proposing to build a car park on land opposite Snape Maltings. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A spokesperson for Snape Maltings said: “Our aim is to use the opportunity for the regeneration of the site, of which 25% is currently derelict, to help our not-for-profit organisation deliver substantial public benefits and achieve future financial resilience.

“It is a particularly difficult challenge in an AONB and we are currently assessing options for a site masterplan beyond 2022.

“It is too early for a formal planning process. However, we want to continue the dialogue with our neighbours and stakeholders.

“We are keen to hear and fully understand and respect all views about the way in which the site may develop.”

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