Sir. —Many of Suffolk’s residents will be wondering if Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) ever listens to the voice of the people. Your correspondent Anne Maddison’s informative letter about the ecology (EADT, October 1) exemplifies another aspect of the widely felt sense of dismay over the council-inspired proposal for major development on the BT land near Waldringfield.
In the ill-considered preparations for BT’s massive scheme, interests of acknowledged importance appear somehow to have been overlooked by the council or dismissed as irrelevant. It would be repellent to civilised people if the council were to ignore the likely consequences for already endangered habitats. What, one might well ask, will become of the already threatened habitat of the local people, too? The living conditions in small settlements already suffer from the pernicious growth of traffic on our lanes which, at peak times, quickly reaches saturation.
It is dire in the extreme, therefore, that the Scoping Opinion sent by SCDC to BT’s agents, David Lock Associates, under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 1999, appears to be deeply flawed. The council’s Scoping Opinion for the BT site appears to have evaded what is surely a patently obvious requirement. It should have required BT to assess, by careful analysis, the impact of traffic on the living conditions of the residents of the nearby small settlements in the AONB. Four years ago, the Planning Inspectorate found that traffic was a serious problem here, citing its adverse impact as a ground for dismissing two planning appeals previously referred to in your letters columns (EADT, August 21 and August 25).
The Environmental Statement and the transport assessment addendum, which BT’s agents produced, are seriously deficient owing to SCDC’s failure to require the inclusion of such obvious fundamentals. The likely effect is that the council’s decision, in due course, will be open to legal challenge. The council can be assured that its decision-making process is under very close scrutiny. Council taxpayers must ready themselves for the cost implications of any failures.
S E Clover