Key site in Aldeburgh saved for future

ONE of the last few remaining public green spaces in Aldeburgh has been saved from possible redevelopment.

Richard Smith

ONE of the last few remaining public green spaces in Aldeburgh has been saved from possible redevelopment.

Aldeburgh Town Council has quickly quashed speculation that it could sell the town marshes, close to Slaughden and the river wall.

The town council owns about 100 acres - the land is bordered by privately-owned marshland - and is worth between £300,000 and £400,000 according to one estimate.

Concern grew in Aldeburgh when a new landowner of marshland told the town council he wanted to buy the council's land.

The potential sale of the land aroused strong emotions when Aldeburgh town council's estates committee discussed the proposition - and councillors recommended to the full council it should not be sold.

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Andrew Harris, chairman of the estates committee, said: ''This is a very big issue and a very, very emotive point in the town.

''I am very, very anti that the council sells what is part of Aldeburgh's crown jewels. It is a lovely part of the world but in the past I have seen one or two people attempt to buy the marshes.''

There was a suggestion that a working party should be formed to consider the future of the marshes but Marianne Fellowes, a town and district councillor, said: ''I do not think there is any reason for that - we have listened to people and said we are not even going to consider selling. To say we are going to put it off could cause more upset.''

But Stephen Hawes, a town councillor, said the council was extremely lucky to have someone who wanted to buy the marshes.

Cllr Hawes said: ''I recommend that the committee starts negotiating with the person who has made this offer to see what he is prepared to do.

''Really we should be getting this marshland into the hands of somebody who will look after them. I do not think it is the job of a parish council to be involved in farming activities.''

Wildfowlers were responsible for clearing the land when it was a rubbish tip and Brian Upson, chairman of the Alde and Ore Wildfowlers Association, said: ''We planted trees, put in a new reed bed and the land won an award for conservation.

''It has been in the past an enjoyable recreation area for our members and we have had quite a lot of success with conservation. To sell something like that would disadvantage this generation and generations to come - there are getting fewer and fewer places like this for people to enjoy their sport.''

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