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Stowmarket Gateway 14 business and logistics park proposals spark concerns

There is still time to have a say on a major business and logistics park planned for the fringes of Stowmarket.

Consultation into the Gateway 14 hybrid planning application closes on Monday.

Mid Suffolk District Council planners are considering the plans to redevelop 156 acres between the A1120 and A14 – between Cedars Park and Muntons – which could see employment and commercial buildings, open space, landscaping, car and cycle parking, new footpaths and cycleway, highways works and a link from the A1120 Cedars Link to Mill Lane.

Aerial image of the Gateway 14 site, at Stowmarket. Picture by Sealand (46613412)
Aerial image of the Gateway 14 site, at Stowmarket. Picture by Sealand (46613412)

The Gateway 14 scheme would be the largest logistics and business park in East Anglia.

Numerous comments have already been lodged, from the British Horse Society – which said it believed the equestrian community had been excluded from the proposals – to the River Gipping Trust, which has concerns about paths, byways and accessibility.

Creeting St Peter Parish Council is concerned about the impact the development could have on the hamlet village, which borders the Gateway 14 site.

Chairman Mark Valladares said: “The poor state of our road network, the risks of increased traffic flows through a village without a means of separating pedestrians from other road users and the encroachment of the site – extending Stowmarket two-thirds of the way across the gap between town and hamlet – will impact on our community for many years to come.”

Stowupland Parish Council has objected to the scheme, while Cedars Park Residents’ Association said: “We are realists and accept that there will be a development on this site. But it has to be one that will bring benefits to this town, the surrounding area and Cedars Park Residents in particular.”

Suffolk Preservation Society said it felt proposed landscaping fell short of the development brief requirements.

The Stowmarket Society said it had concerns over proposed building heights, insufficient space for soft landscaping around the development, foot and cycle path links and the location of the proposed innovation centre.

New Anglia LEP (local enterprise partnership) has welcomed the plans but questioned whether the proposed innovation centre could be located in a more prominent area of the development.

Suffolk County Council’s public rights of way team has objected.

Meanwhile, Muntons plc, which borders the site, has environmental and traffic control concerns.

Numerous neighbours have also commented, with many citing concerns relating to the environment, traffic, landscape impact, noise and light pollution.

Laura Wesley, who lives nearby, said: “My main concern is not the decision to develop this area, it is the overwhelming scale of some of the units that have been suggested. I do not agree that in any way ‘megasheds’ can be stated as beneficial to anyone living within this area.”

Carol Ward, who lives on Cedars Park estate, said she was ‘far from impressed’ with the proposals.

“Stowmarket deserves better than this,” she added.

Gateway 14 is a subsidiary company of Mid Suffolk District Council. See the plans at: https://planning.baberghmidsuffolk.gov.uk reference DC/21/00407

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