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This page provides more details on some of the hot topics the Council are currently involved in.

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Current Issues

Traffic and Highway Safety

Broom Hill

Planning


Traffic and Highway Safety

Last Updated: 14th December '21

Safety

The Parish Council has been working with residents, District and County councillors, Police and LorryWatch for many years because of issues of safety, congestion and speeding. Of particular concern is the B1078 through the village.

Please see our image gallery:

High Street photo gallery

Crown Corner photo gallery

Church Road photo gallery

In December 2020 the Parish Council commenced a process that we were advised could be lengthy and protracted. We reported in our Spring/Summer 2021 newsletter that we had approached Suffolk County Council (SCC) to discuss a number of measures, one of which was the safety aspect of Crown Corner.

The subject of waiting restrictions has been discussed. An early decision was made that there were to be no proposals that place restrictions on School Road, outside or opposite the Community Shop.

Plans were drawn up by SCC following a survey of the location. The Safety and Speed Management Team (SSMT) raised concerns about placing restrictions on only one side of the carriageway, the Parish Council’s preferred option. Their concerns centred on the restricted visibility around the Corner, in so far as the vehicles are more likely to park outside the Country Club and opposite The Red House, increasing the chances of a rear end shunt caused by the unsuspected vehicles parking at these locations. Further concern was expressed that larger vehicles will find it difficult to manoeuvre around the bend and increasing the possibility of them mounting the footway. This would be detrimental to pedestrian safety and increases the chance of damage to statutory undertakers plant.

A revised plan has been drawn up for ‘No Waiting At Anytime‘ (double yellow lines).

Council first broached this subject on the grounds of longer term safety. SSMT’s approach is based on the same concern. We have pursued this proposal in the knowledge that the scheme is to be fully funded by Suffolk County Council. The Parish Council will be considering a proposal at its January 2022 meeting and invite comments, via the Clerk, before making a recommendation.

Crown Corner Plan 

SCC Review of Suffolk Designated Lorry Routes (DLR)

Suffolk County Council (SCC), has commenced a review of “Designated Lorry Routes” (DLR’s) in Suffolk, the first since 2011. These routes described as “Strategic”, “Zone Distributor” and “Local Access” roads have been defined by SCC, with the B1078 through the village presently included as a Zone Distributor route on the DLR Plan.

Surprisingly, SCC as Highways Authority introduce their “Lorry Management” website stating that they are;

“Working with freight and haulage companies to ensure that HGV or lorries use the most suitable routes, roads and villages in Suffolk”.

This “Community led review” whilst inviting the views of Parish and Town Councils “about their local issues and intelligence” (?), appears to focus only on the importance of the haulage industry and excludes any reference to environmental or community interests. This invitation to take part in the review is indeed extremely limited in the form of a “tick-box” survey with each Parish or Town Council “limited to three issues within their community to ensure fair and equal representation across the County”. Furthermore, any survey information submitted by the Parish Council will be the subject of scrutiny and endorsement by Suffolk County Councillor Matthew Hicks.

These comments and many parts of the “review” are surprising and limit the Parish Council’s ability to submit the numerous concerns that are almost daily being recorded in respect of the impact of principally HGV traffic using the B1078 through the village, especially in relation to movements east and west-bound along the High Street and Church Road. The Parish Council, in offering comments on the review, remain unclear on a number of issues where there is no available up-to-date information, including traffic flow figures and any recorded changes since the adoption of the DLR in 2011.

It is of particular concern that their is sparse information on the whole process or background evidence and the controlling and concerning methodology adopted including the limitations imposed on consultees, without any indication of the weight to be attached to representations received. There is also a clear indication that there is “currently no budget” to introduce any new Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs).

A matter of significant concern to the Parish Council is that SCC has, in their DLR Review document, made no reference or placed any weight on their own adopted policy objectives contained in the Suffolk Local Transport Plans (Part 1 and 2) 2011-2031, (SLTP) in respect of Coddenham. The “lorry” problem in Coddenham is clearly recognised in the SLTP, with an adopted policy for the implementation of remedial measures.

A very significant issue relates to the planning status afforded to the village by its designation as a Conservation Area, one of the first in Suffolk in 1971, and flowing from that the legal consequences on how such a designation impacts on a Local Authoritie’s decision making process affecting such areas. A local planning authority is under a general duty to ensure the “preservation and enhancement” of Conservation Areas, (s72[1], Planning [Listed Building and Conservation Areas] Act 1990). This duty, in respect of this review by SCC, is entirely relevant and is not mentioned in any document associated with the matter. In this case, it is incumbent on SCC to consider what impact the DLR designation has on the enhancement or appearance of the area, and such a requirement in this case can impact on measures to divert traffic elsewhere. SCC is duty bound to take this issue into account and to explain what weight they attach to the impact on the Conservation Area and how the possible continuation of the DLR designation could not have a negative impact, which would be unacceptable, or how it could possibly have a neutral or positive impact. There is no evidence that the original policy making decision taken in 2011 addressed this point which is an issue of concern in itself.

Coddenham has, over at least the last 50 years, recorded numerous complaints, concerns and evidence on the increasingly destructive, frustrating, polluting and dangerous traffic problems facing the village. The response thus far has been minimal and ineffective. A 20mph speed limit and one-way HGV restriction are of little consequence and unenforced.

Action is required now, whether or not these facts, evidence and comments are endorsed or rejected by any decision on the DLR Review.

Issues affecting the consideration of the DLR designation of the B1078 through Coddenham include:

  • The nearly daily congestion and hold ups of traffic lasting for varying periods of time, sometimes in excess of 20-30 minutes.
  • Jams are often caused by HGV vehicles, cars towing caravans and public service vehicles (PSVs).
  • HGVs disregarding the 7.5 tonne (westbound) TRO. The enforcement regime seeking to resolve these breaches is completely inadequate and totally ineffective. Local lorry watch recorders have largely abandoned recording/reporting, leading to the false conclusion for SCC that Lorry Watch is effective (because of no recordings). This is entirely incorrect. It is to do with dispirited recorders not seeing any amelioration of traffic movements by HGVs eastbound, despite their best efforts.
  • Emergency service vehicles are more often now “trapped” in the congestion, including Police cars on blue lights and ambulances. This is leading to delays in attending to potentially dangerous and maybe life threatening events.
  • Properties have been struck by vehicles on numerous occasions, including a Grade II* Listed Building and one cottage at the end of Love Lane having recorded damage on at least 7 occasions, most of which were “hit and run” incidents.
  • Congestion equals pollution with numerous vehicles waiting with engines running, an overlooked issue, especially within the enclosed parts of the road in the High Street.
  • Damage to parked vehicles has been a constant cause of concern and reality for years. Some vehicles have been damaged which are actually parked off the public highway within private laybys and have repeatedly sustained damage.
  • Pedestrian safety has been ignored and remains an important and unaddressed issue, especially when compared, for example, with recent expenditure on cycleway provision in some areas.

General Environmental Considerations have been ignored

The historic alignment and layout of the B1078 through the village, including a blind 90 degree bend at Crown Corner, continues to pose dangerous conditions for traffic and pedestrians. Any swept path analysis of an HGV movement either east or west, leads only to the conclusion that the entire road width is required to make any manoeuvre around the corner. The constraints on this corner often lead to vehicles of all types mounting the pavement, damaging kerbs, boundary walls and in one case destroying BT inspection chamber covers. Accidents have occurred on the bend, with one involving an eastbound HGV effectively squeezing a westbound car against the kerb resulting in substantial damage.

The maximum width of the High Street, at one point close to the entrance to Love Lane, is 3.95 metres, one of at least seven similar pinch points. There are very limited and restricted footways, largely unusable, being narrow and containing parts of buildings. Extensive areas have no footways or verges whatsoever, including the narrowest section referred to above which is contained by vertical solid walls offering no prospect of any refuge for pedestrians seeking to escape traffic.

The Parish Council has confirmed the following facts concerning the status of other local roads with far greater capacity in terms of width, alignment and provision of footways where TROs restricting any 7.5 tonne HGVs are enforced in both directions or, in one case, as “unsuitable for HGVs”. These are:

  1. Manor Road, Bredfield/Haskeston. 4.95 m width carriageway, one footway with the road signed as “unsuitable for HGVs”.
  2. High Street (B113), Sproughton. 5.4m carriageway, x 2 footways, TRO restricting HGVs over 7.5t in both directions.
  3. Ipswich Road, Needham Market. 6.6m carriageway, x 2 wide footways, TRO restricting HGVs over 7.56t in both directions.
  4. Norwich Road, Claydon. 7m width carriageway, x2 footways, TRO restricting HGVs over 7.5t in both directions.

Driver’s frustration has led to confrontation and abuse, which is of course unacceptable, but is also potentially dangerous and certainly disturbing for parishioners.

Conclusions

The Parish Council is relieved to find that Suffolk County Council actually recognised, in an adopted policy document, the impact that HGVs have on the village and that amelioration of the problem is required and proposed.

This is, however, unqualified with no design or other details to demonstrate how any works on, for example, the narrow pinch-points of the B1078 could be made safer and acceptable along its existing route. There is no specific timescale information available.

HGV movements, and indeed vehicles over 3.5 tonnes in general are causing daily problems on the B1078 through the village. The weight limit restriction west-bound is hopelessly inadequate in terms of proper enforcement and of course does not solve the problems associated with the large number of HGVs travelling east meeting west-bound vehicles of all sizes at classic pinch point areas.

Put simply, the road along most of its length, especially the High Street, is totally inadequate to accommodate HGVs, leaving no room for pedestrians or cyclists, or to enable on-coming vehicles to pass. It is patently inadequate to form any part of a preferred “Designated Lorry Route”. There are no other parts of the DLR routes which have such wholly inadequate layout and width characteristics, and none where there are no options for improvement or proposals for remediation.

A previous idea rejected by the village, involved a one-way gyratory system including the use of Rectory Road, Hemingstone. Such a scheme did nothing at all to address the fact that even with HGVs travelling westbound, the dangerous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists would not be resolved in any way, neither would other issues relating to damage to buildings and vehicles, or pollution control.

The Conservation Area issue is an extremely pertinent and unresolved matter which, in the Parish Council’s view cannot somehow be set aside or ignored in this policy formulation process.

Questions raised by parishioners include comparisons with other local roads, some detailed above, which, whilst subject to TROs, are far more commodious and safer for pedestrians and cyclists alike.

Another significant issue relates to the numerous local road closures which, in 2021 alone, have resulted in respite for the village from vehicles, especially HGVs. The displaced vehicles clearly find alternative routes whether or not part of any official diversion. The Parish Council is unaware of any recorded problems associated with these diversions, and in respect of HGVs, suggest that local diversions for such vehicles be made permanent.

SCC should be far more communicative and informative with the Parish as to how and when they intend to implement their adopted policy, already 10 years into its overall plan period to 2031. An immediate solution would be to impose a weight restriction on HGVs in both directions through Coddenham and to properly enforce them. The Parish Council would further suggest a reduction of the weight limit to 3.5 tonnes, as the impact of even those vehicles has, in many respects, the same deleterious impact on the village.

The B1078 through Coddenham should not be included on the reviewed DLR for Suffolk, there are well recognised alternative, far more commodious and appropriate routes, all as already recognised as official diversions by SCC. Continuation of the identification of the route would be in flagrant disregard of adopted policy and indeed calls into question why the route was so identified initially.

Please note that the above notes do not attempt to cover the numerous concerns relating to traffic conditions in the village. There are many individual incidents not recorded here.

 

Impact of Sizewell C

Of significant recent concern are the plans for Sizewell C. Having reviewed this development the Council has written to the Planning Authority to express our serious concern about the lack of infrastructure to support this development and the direct impact we expect on our Parish. For more details please read our response letter by clicking on Parish Council Response Letter: Sizewell C

As part of its response to EDF Energy’s latest community consultation on its application for Sizewell C, Suffolk County Council (SCC) has welcomed the energy provider’s movement towards reducing the number of additional heavy good vehicle movements on Suffolk’s roads and increasing the use of rail and marine freight deliveries during site construction. SCC has urged EDF Energy for many years to maximise freight deliveries by sea and rail and significantly, being of the view that the transport proposals were not sustainable, so it welcomes the proposals for an additional Beach Landing Facility on Sizewell Beach to bring construction materials in by sea, as well as an additional night-time rail delivery of materials to site. In its response, SCC also reflects that many of the proposals offered still lack vital elements in detail and assessment at this stage – such as impacts of the proposals on the coastline or night-time disturbance of residents living close to railway lines. SCC would welcome the opportunity for further dialogue with SZC C to better understand details of the current proposals, and the evidence base which has led to them.It is encouraging to see that EDF Energy has begun listening to the concerns raised by SCC and Suffolk’s communities include the input from our Parish Council. Recognising the need for further detail, SCC does welcome the principle of the changes proposed by EDF Energy, as they begin to address some of the concerns repeatedly raised. However, there still remains work to be done if the scheme is to be acceptable to SCC and local communities - not least in the area of further eliminating, minimising, mitigating, or compensating for the impact of the scheme on Suffolk’s unique natural environment.

 

Speeding

A 20mph speed restriction was introduced a few years ago to help reduce speeds in Coddenham. Unfortunately, Suffolk Police has stated that exceeding speeds in a 20mph area will not be enforced.

The Day Foundation has provided the Council with a speed indicator device which you can see on School Road. Many thanks to Colin Hardy for managing the speed indicator device and providing the results.

The pie chart below shows the most recent data from traffic in both directions along School Road. The data shows 60% of traffic at or below the 20mph limit and 98% at or below 30mph

Speeding Pie Chart

Traffic Speed Results – School Road

The Parish Council welcomes any suggestions or comments from parishioners as to how to reduce traffic, reduce accidents and reduce traffic speeds through our parish. Please contact us via the Parish Clerk


Broom Hill

Coddenham Parish Council act as Custodial Trustees for the management and maintenance of Broom Hill, acquired in 1988 by public subscription and a grant from the Countryside Commission. The first phase of “Pocket Parks”, included Broom Hill, as part of a national scheme backed by the Royal Society for Nature Conservation and the chemicals company, Schering.

Parishioners with long local memories recount stories of the area prior to its acquisition by the village when it was in fact part of land farmed by Mr. William Wink, in connection with Willow Farm where he lived with his wife Ruby for 50 years. Parts of the area were grazed and access to land to the south-east was gained through the cart track still visible and forming a pathway to the high land overlooking the open grass area.

The Times newspaper, (edition, 7th January 1988), ran an article on the purchase by the parish and described the concept as follows, “Pocket parks are distinct from any other category of protected land. Although they will have some existing conservation value or potential, they will rank below nature reserve status. They will differ from common land, which despite its name is not always invariably open to the public. But they will not usually contain swings and roundabouts and they will not be neatly manicured like formal urban parks.”

Over the years the area has received very much appreciated maintenance and support from volunteers and special thanks go to Mr. Ian Jefferies for his outstanding individual efforts in controlling hedges, trimming back undergrowth and bramble containment. The last two years have been a unique period where isolation and certain restrictions on gatherings have curtailed activities.

The Parish Council has to record that no comments or complaints about the condition of Broom Hill have been received by the Parish Clerk or Councillors. That was until criticism was recently received by email addressed to the Clerk containing allegations that the author was aware of expressions of concern about the “…current state of Broom Hill”, by “many local people” and, surprisingly and unknowingly, the “Parish Council.” The message also recorded that an approach had been made to an organisation for assistance. The email was acknowledged with a reminder that any request for help with the management of the area ought really have been made through the Council, who are ultimately responsible. The reply did not contain any formal resolution on whether or not the Parish Council would engage with potential offers of help as the matter had not been discussed at Council.

The Parish Council were subsequently concerned and dismayed that their informal response to a third party approach to an outside organisation for assistance was determined to have been “declined.” This statement was made at a meeting of the Parish Council and clearly refuted by a councillor as being totally incorrect. Unfortunately, the same unfounded allegation has been widely publicised in the December 2021 edition of the Ten Village News. The Parish Council wish to correct this untrue statement. They are engaging with contractors to plan possible future maintenance of the more difficult areas of Broom Hill and will engage locally with those interested in the area to help inform decisions. In the meantime, budgeted works of grass cutting have taken place with excellent results.


Planning Applications Update

Pipps Ford

Last Updated: 2nd December '21

IMG 28

The Parish Council has been consulted by Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) on a second planning application in respect of land at Pipps Ford, A14 slip road to A140, Coddenham, IP6 8LJ. The application register number DC/21/05596 is available to view on the MSDC website, planning search and comment page. It proposes development very similar to a previous proposal which has been refused planning permission by Mid Suffolk, and to which the Parish Council strongly recommended refusal supporting many other local objectors. Having carefully considered the current proposal, the Parish Council has reiterated

its previous objections considering that none have been addressed or overcome in the revised submission. The outcome is awaited and parishioners should consider contacting their District Councillors to record their views (john.whitehead@midsuffolk.gov.uk  and tim.passmore@midsuffolk.gov.uk ).

Please read the Parish Council formal response.

 

The Dukes Head

Last Updated: 2nd December '21

 Dukes Head

Our local planning authority, Mid Suffolk District Council, granted both Planning Permission and Listed Buildings Consent for the change of use and conversion of The Dukes Head to form a dwelling over a year ago, on 23rd October 2020. To date, those permissions have not been implemented and the entire site still presents as an untidy and unkempt appearance within the Coddenham Conservation Area and causes a nuisance to adjacent property owners.

The Parish Council first raised concerns with Mid Suffolk as to the state of the site in October 2019 urging that action be taken to secure improvements. Since that time, the matter has been raised with our District Councillors at practically every Parish Council meeting and they too have been unable to secure any action or understand the reasons for the delays. The Parish Council would encourage any concerned parishioners to join in by contacting both Mid Suffolk District Council Planning Department and local Councillors  john.whitehead@midsuffolk.gov.uk and tim.passmore@midsuffolk.gov.uk urging immediate action.

 

The Shrublands Quarry and Barham Pit

Last Updated: 4th May '21

This site together with operations in the nearby Barham pit have for many years now been making a significant contribution to the minerals needs of the County. Recently submitted applications seeking to extend the life of the operations have been considered by the Parish Council and two in particular have been the subject of comments and recommendations to Suffolk County Council as Minerals Authority. 

Following suggestions by made by us, one application has been amended to ensure that access and vehicular movements instructions signage affecting Shrublands Quarry should be retained.

Another proposal involving a significant increase in the movement of inert waste material from the recycling facilities at Shrublands to the Barham Pit for site restoration purposes has attracted PC comments based on a range of highway safety matters. These include warning signage relating to turning movements of HGV’s, the possible control of the deposit of material on the highway caused by vehicles, and concerns at the sheer scale of potential HGV movements carrying up to 140,000 tonnes of fill material pa to the Barham site. These applications remain outstanding.

 

The Debach Airfield Expansion

 debach airfield2

Plans have been drawn up to extend the commercial park on a four-acre plot next door to the Debach Enterprises warehousing site and alongside the old airfield runway. It will create a business centre, and 12 one- and two-storey business units, totalling 2,850 sq m of floorspace, plus 135 car parking spaces.

We will be discussing these plans, and the impact on our Parish, with District and County Council colleagues. For more information please see: EADT News Article 

 

Shrubland Hall...some facts

  1. Shrubland Hall, the main building, does not lie within the Parish of Coddenham: it is within Barham Parish.
  2. Coddenham Parish Council is not a Local Planning Authority and has no powers to deal with any matters in relation to Listed Buildings. The Council is normally consulted by the Local Planning Authority in matters relating to applications for Listed Building consent, Planning and other applications when it may be appropriate to make comments and recommendations.
  3. There is no public access to the Hall, and the closest public footpaths are some 200 metres distance on both the south and north side making it impossible for members of the public to offer any informed comments about the state of the building.
  4. In the event that members of the public have concerns they are advised to contact Mid Suffolk District Council as the Local Planning Authority and who have wide Powers in relation to Listed Buildings and trees.
  5. Parts of the immediate grounds around the Hall have been included on the Register of Parks and Gardens but this affords little protection other than placing a duty on the Local Planning Authority to carefully consider the impact of any proposed development on the designated area. Additional protection can be by achieved by Tree Preservation Orders and by seeking to secure Listed status to appropriate individual features.

The Parish Council has not been formally approached by any individual members of the public raising any concerns about the condition of the property but hope that this clarification of responsibilities is of some help and interest.