Safety concerns mount over Stradbroke Co-op plans

Stradbroke, Suffolk. Empty land in Queen's Street, Stradbroke ANL-141126-162153001
Stradbroke, Suffolk. Empty land in Queen's Street, Stradbroke ANL-141126-162153001

The vice chairman of Stradbroke Parish Council said issues over road safety meant they could only offer a recommendation of refusal of the East of England’s Co-operative’s plan to build a new convenience store in the village, after a meeting on Monday.

The food retailer is hoping to invest £1.6 million into building a new store, which would create 24 full and part-time jobs, in Queen Street.

However, public concern has been raised over safety, with the road already notoriously busy, while the proposed site is opposite the village’s primary school.

The Governing Body of Stradbroke Primary School also objects to the proposed development, while Suffolk County Council Highways recommends permission should be refused.

Oliver Last, vice chairman of the parish council, said:“Lorries have been banned along the road between Eye and Stradbroke and as a result some of these are getting diverted to Scole and then down Queen Street, which has not helped.

“It is on a bend and on a narrow road and at school times people are trying to drop their kids off so it can be a bit of a nightmare.”

The council said they hoped the Co-op would work with the highways department with a view to an amended proposal.

The highways authority believes proposed visibility for traffic is poor, while 25 parking spaces would be recommended, to avoid further street parking.

A letter to Mid Suffolk read: “The proposed development would require 25 car parking spaces, the current proposal shows 11 car parking spaces (1 disabled) which would result in an unwanted influx of on street parking, which at this location is already at full capacity.

“Also SCC believes that any significant increase in traffic volume on the B1118 at this location could have a severely negative impact on highway safety as it is already a very heavily trafficked road.”

In representation to Mid Suffolk District Council, a statement on behalf of the primary school said: “As a school community our over-riding objective is to safeguard the children in our care and we consider that the proposed development on the land opposite the school by the East of England Co-op would be detrimental to road safety directly outside the school, and as a consequence the safety of young children aged from three to eleven who attend the school and nursery.”

The plans have got the backing of Dawn Easter, economic development officer at Mid Suffolk District Council, who described the plans as a “good use for a vacant site.”