The Sizewell C Project

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

The Sizewell C Project

Received 18 September 2020
From Coddenham Parish Council

Representation

Coddenham Parish Council has already submitted comments during the pre-examination stage of the process and in accordance with the information and advice contained in the Sizewell C Summer 2020 “Latest News” now wish to register the following points with the Planning Inspectorate. The Parish Council ( PC) remain extremely concerned at the proposal in relation to the impact on the rural highway network and environment and in particular on the B1078 which runs right through the heart of the village. The information made available so far fails to adequately address or even discuss in certain respects the extreme difficulties associated with the prospect of additional traffic movements on the B1078 through the village centre. The following headings set out briefly the main issues of concern: 1. Coddenham Village and immediate environs have an extensive Conservation Area designation and was one of the first villages in the former East Suffolk County Council era to be so recognised. The designation acknowledges the importance of a number of factors including Listed Buildings one being Grade II *, and others fronting the B1078 through the centre, the character of the layout of the High Street, and other strong visual features. 2. The B1078 follows a twisting route through the village with at its western edge an historic brick arched bridge which suffers regular collision damage. Several parts of the road have extremely limited visibility including a 90 degree bend. Of particular concern is the High Street section of the road which has limited footway provision on one side only being so narrow that it can barely be used. Large sections of the street have no pedestrian provision whatsoever. There are no verges, level or otherwise. At its narrowest point the carriageway is only 4.3m (four point three metres) in width and then between high solid vertical concrete or brick walls. At this point there are, for obvious reasons, no footways or any other refuge area for pedestrians. HGV traffic completely blocks the road. 3. The road is subject to a 20mph speed limit and a restriction on 7.5 tonne HGVs travelling west. Both of these traffic control measures were introduced to try and moderate highway user behaviour but have generally failed to do so partly because of a complete lack of any proper monitoring or enforcement either by the Police in relation to speed or by Trading Standards in respect of the HGV movements. 4. There is a growing list of accident events in the High Street, including those involving vehicles striking buildings and damage to legitimately parked vehicles owned by adjacent property owners who have no alternative provision. Contraventions of the HGV restriction often leads to conflict resulting in almost daily jams of which result in significant delay and frustration. It is not however just HGV movements causing problems with the road inadequate to allow two normal cars to pass. There is much local concern at the possible consequences of any emergency service vehicles answering local calls and being unable to quickly attend. The road suffers badly when the Orwell Bridge is closed either because of high winds, accident or repair work adding to traffic and environmental chaos. 5. The safety of pedestrians is a serious concern making such movements dangerous at times. This is a significant concern for those visiting the local village community shop. 6. Whilst the information available thus far indicates two relatively minor layout improvements to the B1078 one of which is within the parish at the junction with the A140 and elsewhere at Otley Bottom, no reference can be found of any assessment or note of concern with reference to the narrow section of the road through Coddenham. This is a surprise as the route is clearly featured in parts of the highway assessment as forming a cross country link between the A14 and an extensive park and ride facility at Wickham Market which happens to be situated immediately adjacent to the B1078 and with access from it. 7. The section of the Summer 2020 publication headed Transport: Freight and the Workforce gives no comfort to the PC. Why are any works of improvement to the B1078 route proposed if, as the item suggests, certain vehicles will be required to use the “A14, A12 and then on to the Sizewell Link Road”? 8. Under the heading ‘Sizewell C and the Local Community’, reference is made to the employment potential of the project with headline figure of “2,600” workers coming from “the local area..” However, there is no reference to the leisure and other journeys which will be attributable to the large number of workers who are likely to be accommodated on a “campus,” “ secure caravan site,” or elsewhere totalling some 3,000 bed spaces. It is in fact difficult to reconcile these employment figures totalling some 5,600 people with the claim on page 6 of the document that, at the peak of construction, a workforce of around “7,900” will be on site. Where are the balance of workers likely to travel from? In conclusion at this point, and taking into account what the PC identify as significant gaps in details relating to rural highway issues, any additional vehicular movements on the B1078 through the parish associated with the construction of Sizewell C are unacceptable for the reasons detailed briefly above. The B1078 is wholly inappropriate as an access route to Sizewell. Coddenham Parish Council would wish to be kept fully informed as to the processing of the application and to become involved further as appropriate.