Four Villages by pass gets cabinet backing from Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 16:09 13 October 2015 | UPDATED: 16:09 13 October 2015
Suffolk County Council is to contribute £450,000 towards building a case for the construction of a new by-pass around four villages on the A12 in the north of the county.
It will help to prepare a case for a new road to be considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project which would qualify it for major funds through the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership – and would also attract funding from EDF as part of the price of building a new Sizewell C power station.
The county’s cabinet backed the funding which will be added to a £50,000 contribution from Suffolk Coastal Council to go towards preparing the case.
That could lead to the project being approved in 2018 with the road being opened by 2021 – which could be the start of a 10-year construction period at the power station.
Guy McGregor, who is carrying out negotiations over the road on behalf of the county council, said the project was vital for the economy of the whole of north east Suffolk – not only as part of the power station project.
He said the road by-passing Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew, and Farnham was vital for Lowestoft to provide a good link south to Ipswich and London.
Cabinet member for finance Richard Smith is also councillor for Leiston and Aldeburgh – and admitted he was not the greatest enthusiast for the project although he would be supporting the project.
He felt a new road would have to be a dual carriageway – but the most important proposal for Leiston itself and the villages along the B1122 to Yoxford was that there should be a new road from the A12 south of Saxmundham to Leiston to ease the pressure on communities nearest the power station.
Saxmundham councillor Michael Gower, who also represents villages to the north of the town, said it was vital to ease the pressure on the B1122 – but his communities were opposed to any proposal for a dual carriageway from Saxmundham north, fearing it would ruin the character of the area.
Early Debbie Taylor, who represents the parish councils of the four villages, spoke of her delight that the councils were planning to spend £500,000 on preparatory work.
She said: “We have been waiting a very long time for a new road and it is absolutely vital that we keep the pressure up now and convince EDF that this is necessary if the power station is to be built.
“It is vital for the future of this part of the county.”