To: Snape Parish Council
From: A group of Snape residents
Snape Maltings is a cultural asset of great local and national importance. Profit from its commercial activities, including shops, restaurants, housing and special events, help to fund its world-renowned music teaching and public performances, including the unique Aldeburgh Festival. To develop these commercial activities further, the management and trustees of the Maltings charity want to build a new 470-space illuminated car park.
The proposed parking site is not at the Maltings, but on the opposite side of the river Alde between Snape village and the river, just north of the Suffolk Coast Path. It consists of open fields and marshland between the river and the Crown Inn, next to Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Snape Marshes reserve. It is part of the unbroken crescent of fields, marsh and heath encircling Snape to the south, on which development has never been allowed.
Residents of Snape value the Maltings highly. But there is strong opposition to the car park proposal, on environmental and other grounds. Opponents believe it will bring reduced air quality, light and noise pollution, damage to wildlife and bio-security, and immense visual intrusion – all in a conservation area within our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They are also concerned about its impact on potential flooding, on traffic management and density, and on other factors.
We are fully aware that the local planning authority is Suffolk Coastal District Council, not Snape Parish Council. But the Parish Council’s opinion of the proposals on behalf of residents will carry weight in the planning process. It should also be considered important by the management and trustees of Snape Maltings.
So we ask the Parish Council to consult residents, form an opinion on the proposal as quickly as possible, and communicate their view formally and in writing to all relevant parties, including the planning authority and the media. Further announcements are planned by Snape Maltings in April, and their planning application may be submitted at any time. Therefore we believe that the matter is too urgent to be left to the normal 2-monthly cycle of Parish Council meetings, and hope that arrangements will be made to expedite this very important decision.