Town's concern over sewage pipeline
A MAYOR has issued a plea to councillors not to give the go-ahead to a major sewage works project in her town.Felicity Bromage said the multi-million pound scheme would inflict "an environmental disaster" upon Aldeburgh and ruin part of the town's heritage.
By Jonathan Barnes
A MAYOR has issued a plea to councillors not to give the go-ahead to a major sewage works project in her town.
Felicity Bromage said the multi-million pound scheme would inflict "an environmental disaster" upon Aldeburgh and ruin part of the town's heritage.
The plans involve installing a five-mile twin pipeline between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness and a host of new pumping and sewage screening facilities.
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County councillors are being asked to approve Anglian Water's proposals when they meet on Tuesday.
But residents have voiced anger at the planned works, which could cost up to £5 million, and Mrs Bromage said: "I can only hope that common sense prevails."
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The proposed pipeline runs through a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) that includes an RSPB reserve.
"It would be totally disastrous, environmentally speaking, if they chose this route, let alone the disturbance it would cause to the town," said Mrs Bromage.
"The suggested route goes through a special area with protected species and the land would not recover for years."
The town council has even submitted its own alternative proposals, which it says would be less harmful to the area's wildlife.
Mrs Bromage said the planned development would spoil popular walking routes, repel tourists and represent a "disaster" for bird watchers.
"There are so many different authorities involved in this process and we are only a small cog in the wheel, but we are the ones who actually live here," she said.
"We are talking about the disruption and ruination of part of our local heritage. I don't think we are being 'Nimbys' about this – there are alternatives that would not cause such a big environmental impact.
"We should do everything we can to preserve where we live and the things that are precious to us.
"I'm relying on the councillors showing some sense, looking at this sympathetically and being aware of the other possibilities."
The plans include major development at the town's Park Road and Leiston Road sewage stations while the new pipelines, travelling along the route of the old railway line, would carry sewage to Thorpeness and back again after treatment.
A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said: "We have looked at all the options and consider this to be the best one. We have not taken any decisions lightly and have maintained dialogue with interested parties.
"The works are being done to meet legislation and we have taken extensive considerations into account. Part of the plans were designed to minimise disruption to the town."
Suffolk County Council's development control sub-committee meets on Tuesday to discuss the plans.
Members are being asked to grant planning permission for the four applications, subject to tight controls on matters such as odour, noise and environmental impact.
Lucy Robinson, the council's director of environment and transport, said the overall package of proposals represented the "least worst option" to carry out the work.