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Plans for new ferry on historic coast

PUBLISHED: 09:01 01 May 2007 | UPDATED: 09:59 03 March 2010

A NEW ferry linking the Suffolk shoreline could be started within a few months close to Aldeburgh.

Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit announced yesterday that the foot ferry on the River Alde between Slaughden Quay, south of Aldeburgh, and Sudbourne, could begin in the summer.

A NEW ferry linking the Suffolk shoreline could be started within a few months close to Aldeburgh.

Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit announced yesterday that the foot ferry on the River Alde between Slaughden Quay, south of Aldeburgh, and Sudbourne, could begin in the summer.

But the start would be delayed until June 1 next year if the necessary permissions and agreements were not obtained in time.

The organisation has submitted planning applications to Suffolk Coastal District Council for a floating pontoon, boardwalk and footbridge on the Sudbourne shore. It also wants a car park in Ferry Lane, close to Ferry Farm, Sudbourne.

The unit stressed that “every effort” had been made to ensure that the scheme did not damage the landscape or wildlife and ferry users would be given guidance on appropriate behaviour in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

There will be improvements to public footpaths and an energy attenuation scheme will be installed to protect the saltings at the ferry landing point.

Funding has been provided by the unit, the county council, Crown Estate Commissioners, Aldeburgh Town Council and Natural England.

Neil Lister, projects development officer with Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit, said: “The new ferry service will reinstate a 'missing link' on the Suffolk Coast path and provide new opportunities to visit a previously inaccessible part of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB.

“As well as welcoming the plans we are also delighted that the Slaughden ferry proposals include robust measures to control any negative impact on wildlife and the working landscape.”

Mr Lister added that some car owners currently interfered with the daily operations of Ferry Farm by parking indiscriminately and they spoilt the enjoyment of the area.

The provision of a “carefully designed and located” car park would stop this problem.

The land is covered in grasses, wildflowers and herbs and the 13-space car park will use that surface to blend in with the surrounding countryside and it will be screened by trees.

There has been widespread support for the proposals including backing from Sudbourne Parish Council, the Alde and Ore Association, Environment Agency, Natural England and the Crown Estate Commissioners.

Breeding bird populations will be surveyed on Sudbourne marshes to establish if there is any impact from the provision of the ferry.

The ferry has not run for more than 40 years and in 2003 proposals were first aired to reinstate it. The ferry will be supervised by Upson's boatyard at Slaughden and it will only take a few minutes to cross the River Alde.

This will mean that walkers on the Suffolk Coast Path will not have to undertake a detour via Snape.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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