Bypass could compromise wildlife at Sudbury beauty spot

Rangers, left to right, Ian Crighton and Adrian Walters.

Rangers, left to right, Ian Crighton and Adrian Walters. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Developers are in danger of compromising wildlife at a west Suffolk beauty spot if thousands of new homes and a bypass are built on the outskirts of Sudbury, it has been claimed.

Rangers, left to right, Ian Crighton and Adrian Walters.

Rangers, left to right, Ian Crighton and Adrian Walters. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Suffolk County Council is currently seeking public comments about a masterplan for the 1,250-home Chilton Woods scheme and views are also being sought on a proposal for a further 500 near Great Cornard.

Fears that up to 2,000 new homes could cause the town’s traffic system to grind to a halt have led to renewed calls for a bypass. But not everyone agrees, with wildlife enthusiasts and environmental campaigners claiming it could be detrimental to Sudbury’s Common Lands.

The picturesque area, which was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 1990 and a County Wildlife Site in 2007, has a unique riverside landscape where wildlife is encouraged to flourish.

Common Lands ranger Adrian Walters said although the designated route for a bypass would not cut through the common lands; it could still have an adverse effect.

He said: “With all that’s going on in Sudbury with the developments and huge numbers of extra houses planned, we may be in danger of compromising our environment.

“Although the predicted line of the bypass does not come over the common lands, that’s not to say that there won’t be adverse impacts.

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“To have roads running either side of the site would turn it into an island disconnected from the wider countryside.

“Sudbury is likely to see some pretty momentous changes over the next few years and people need to understand the impact that these changes will have as the town continues to grow.”

Babergh councillor and Green Party candidate Robert Lindsay has launched an online questionnaire asking people if they want a bypass.

He said: “A funding bid for a western bypass was rejected by Government in 2003 because it said the disadvantages, such as loss of amenity and habitat destruction, outweighed any potential advantages.

“Whether the bypass goes over the water meadows or not, the road would still go across a flood plain that is all one habitat and you are putting it at risk by dividing it up.

“There’s a false ideas that you can leave little pockets of land like fields but habitats have to be interconnected for wildlife to survive and flourish.”

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