Ultimatum delivered to Suffolk Coastal District Council

“Amend the LDF or we will take the Council to Court.”

Two days before Suffolk Coastal District Council is due to hold a Cabinet Meeting to recommend the Local Development Framework (LDF), NANT has directed the Council to statements made in the environment study, the Appropriate Assessment (AA) , carried out by the Council’s consultants, that are simply not true.  Even more seriously, the consultants have then relied on this false information to reach their “conclusions” on the impact on the Deben Estuary AONB of the proposed allocation of 2320 new houses at Martlesham. In addition to the area’s AONB status, the wildlife of the Deben Estuary has international protection under the RAMSAR agreement.

There are several untrue statements in the AA but one of the more ludicrous is that the car parks at Waldringfield are not available to the general public and therefore “cannot be used as a starting point for riverside walks”.  The consultants then go on to state, with extraordinary “certainty”, that this lack of parking means that the Deben Estuary at Waldringfield will not be affected by the housing allocations at Martlesham.

This is completely untrue. If the Consultants had bothered to look at the area, rather than rely on hearsay, they would have seen that there is a large, privately operated pay-and-display car park at Waldringfield for the use of the general public. It is used extensively as an extremely attractive and popular starting point for riverside walks. The availability of parking therefore means that the Deben Estuary at Waldringfield will be affected by the housing allocations at Martlesham.

NANT has previously invited all Councillors on a guided tour of the most affected areas of the AONB including Waldringfield, Newbourne, Hemley and Martlesham Creek.  Unfortunately, the planning portfolio holder Mr Smith declined, assuring us:-

“that I am very familiar with the Martlesham / Waldringfield area, having lived in the vicinity for 34 years and walked the river bank with my children, visited the Maybush, the Fox and other local pubs etc….So you need have no fears that I and many of my colleagues are as unfamiliar with the area as you suggest”

It would appear that NANT’s “fears” were more than justified.

NANT has informed the Council that if it fails to correct these errors and does not revise the AA before it adopts the Reviewed Core Strategy, NANT will bring a claim for judicial review under s113 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to quash parts of the Core Strategy.

The basis for such a claim would be that the June 2011 AA is fundamentally flawed as relying on inaccurate information and unsubstantiated mitigation.

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A copy of the letter sent, on NANT’s behalf, to Suffok Coastal can be viewed by clicking here or on on the image .

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