Preserve green-field rural land at Corton, Suffolk from massive urban development

Preserve green-field rural land at Corton, Suffolk from massive urban development

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clairey gee started this petition to Suffolk County Council

Suffolk County Council plans to build an entire new Town (1300 houses, shops, roads, offices, warehouses, schools, bus routes, retail, retirement homes, take-aways...) on currently open green arable fields next to Corton, a small rural old coastal village between Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

This development will impact on the village of Corton itself, and also those of nearby Blundeston, Gunton, Hopton and Lound, affecting their character, the way of life of people living in them and the wildlife habitats they contain. Many people retire to the area, treasuring open vistas of farmland, tranquility, and rich (sometimes rare*) wildlife.

Suffolk County Council has released an online document (link at bottom) for consultation with the community between January and mid-Feb 2021. It is noticeable in the 'feedback' part of this document that every single question is loaded to pre-suppose your consent to the new town actually going ahead and being built. It assumes you are in favour and you are asked to give an opinion on pre-determined outcomes which are intended to inform production of a 'Master Plan' later in the year as part of the ongoing development process. This is misleading and could potentially distort figures to show more support for the project than there is because respondents do not have the option to object. 

Reading the document, green and community credentials are flagged and given a lot of prominence. It is worded as if the planners will be doing the "currently species-poor" hedgerows a favour by the development.

The proposed corridor / buffer zone (which is safely outside of the development site) between he new town and Corton will in fact also be developed too - with cycle paths, walkways, a children's play area, "soft landscaping". The planners say they wish to create a "rural and wilderness feel" there. To put that phrase into context, this place is currently a fertile potato field bordered on two sides by natural indigenous woodland and old green lanes.

A closer read of the plan suggests future expansion further inland (via a new roundabout from the A47 at Taylor's Farm). "Opportunity" has been identified here for an additional exit and use of (again, currently green-field, rural arable) land towards Blundeston for "recreational purposes". Secondly: the commercial / retail area of the new town is to be placed near this new roundabout so that any businesses not getting enough custom from the new town may be able to attract "passing trade" from the A47. Given that the the plan incorporates "B2" and "B8" use (meaning these zones will not need to apply for planning permission should further development be mooted) It cannot be ruled out that the proposal might pave the way for a larger Retail Park site or similar in the future.

In all, this proposal represents the creeping, irreversible urbanisation of currently wild, precious, old landscapes and the characteristics and habitat they contain. 

* Regarding the rare wildlife (even bird-life alone): Corton and the sewage works are an essential habitat for bird "passage migrants", ie those birds pausing for rest & refuel en route to their destinations. These might include Yellow Browed Warbler, Common Redstart, Black Redstart, Redwing, Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Firecrest to name but a few. Then there's also the rare birds that are blown off course. I could go on to mention crested newts, muntjac deer and more.

Ever-diminishing, essential, raw green countryside, along with its unique wildlife, is in danger of being eroded here, never to be replaced.

The proposal is in its early stages; however it's essential to add your voice if you oppose the plans. (And please *share* - thank you)

Details of the plan: https://www.northoflowestoft.co.uk/

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