Action group collects 400 signatures for petition against business park plans

Carlton Park

Campaigners from Rethink at Carlton Park at the site of the proposed business park development. Picture: NIGEL BATTERSBY/RETHINK AT CARLTON PARK - Credit: NIGEL BATTERSBY/ RETHINK AT CARLTON PARK

An action group has collected 400 signatures for petitions against expansion plans at a business park, which they fear will damage the environment and lead to noise and pollution. 

The group Rethink at Carlton Park is concerned plans to add warehouses, offices and cafes at the site will create large industrial sheds dominating a historic landscape and increase the number of lorries travelling through residential roads in Kelsale and Saxmundham. 

Plans for Carlton Park could create up to 200 jobs

An artist's impression of the proposed development at Carlton Park. Picture: KLH Architects/ Roger Skinner Holdings Ltd - Credit: KLH Architects / Roger Skinner H

Other issues raised by nearby residents to Carlton Park focused on rising levels of noise and pollution associated with the industrial estate, along with more crime. 

Nigel Battersby, a member of the action group, said: “We are absolutely not against that field being developed and we understand that it is in the Local Plan for employment creation. What we are against is the current nature of the development because it is inappropriate for the field it is going to be built in.” 

He also questioned whether the planned development by Roger Skinner Holdings Ltd would create up to 200 new jobs, believing that it was more likely to create up to 100 jobs. 

Instead, the campaigners are proposing that any development should feature well-developed low-rise buildings for business uses appropriate to the setting which created ‘high quality tech and craft jobs.’ 

In addition, they would like to see planting to blend in with and enhance the historic landscape. 

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Mr Battersby, who lives at nearby Old Hall, added: “We feel that it is not appropriate for an area of historic interest, which is Carlton Park.” 

Carlton Park

Campaigners for Rethink at Carlton Park visit the site of the proposed development. Picture: NIGEL BATTERSBY/RETHINK AT CARLTON PARK - Credit: NIGEL BATTERSBY/ RETHINK AT CARLTON PARK

However, Jonathan Clogg, commercial development consultant for Roger Skinner Holdings, said a vigorous consultation had been undertaken before the plans were submitted with stakeholders, including local councils. 

He added: “This land is formally allocated in the adopted East Suffolk Local Plan for 2020 for employment uses.  

“This is basically an extension of a very long-established industrial business park currently employing around 180-200 people. It is very long-established. It was actually originally a Ministry of Defence (MOD) depot in the Second World War, a storage depot.  

“It is an employment hub for Saxmundham as stated in the Local Plan to support the growth in Saxmundham that is underway and is forecast.” 

The plans, which have been submitted to East Suffolk Council, propose the creation of mixed commercial units totalling 4,720sqm in size, including eight flexible sized units between 325sqm and 1,380sqm.