Controversial car-park proposal scrapped
originally posted on 26th May 2017

Controversial proposals to build a car-park in one of Suffolk’s most treasured landscapes have been scrapped in the face of huge public opposition.  Snape Maltings, the internationally renowned concert hall, had been exploring proposals for a 470-space grass-surfaced car parking area on Snape Marshes to overcome its current capacity challenges.  Although project leaders had stressed their commitment to protect the environment, the plans had been met with fierce opposition.

Today, the organisation has announced it will no longer pursue the idea, saying it had “listened to the concerns of local residents regarding the conservation of Snape’s remarkable natural environment. ... Creating additional car parking capacity in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) presents a huge challenge,” it said.  “The landscape is, quite rightly, highly protected.  Snape Maltings has only been interested in exploring the idea further if it could be demonstrated that a parking area could be created without spoiling the remarkable views of the Alde Estuary and without harming the habitats of the abundant wildlife in the area.  Having discussed the idea with local residents, environmental bodies and professional advisors, and having investigated the potential complexities and costs of the project in more detail, Snape Maltings has concluded that the Snape Marshes idea is not viable.”

The announcement comes after an online petition opposing the plans gained more than 2,000 signatures and hundreds of comments in just a few days.  People signing the petition described the plans as a “disgrace” and a “tragedy” which would harm one of the most “peaceful and beautiful places in the country”.  A paper petition had previously gathered hundreds of signatures from local residents and visitors to Snape.

Derek Walduck, a member of the group formed behind the petitions, previously said Snape had been “unified” in opposition to the “madness” of the proposals.  He said that while people loved Snape Maltings and could recognise the need to secure its future, the car-park would “trash” one of the “most iconic views in Suffolk”.

Snape Maltings said it would explore other parking solutions and give an update in the Autumn.


GreenSnape achievements 2017/18: The Story so far ...

23rd March, 2017 – Inaugural meeting at the Crown, attended by Teresa Cook, Gill Day, Peter Fowler, Victoria Hambley, John James, Graeme Murray, Derek & Lesley Walduck, Kate Walker, apologies John Hambley.  John Hambley elected Chair in his absence!

One aim – to stop Snape Maltings’ proposed 470-space car park on Snape Marshes.

March to May – intensive campaign including paper petition, local and national press articles, meetings with Snape Maltings management and an online petition.
26th May – Snape Maltings withdraw their proposal.
27th July – committee decided that GreenSnape would continue as a group aiming to improve our surroundings for people and wildlife.
28th June – three barn owl chicks ringed on Snape Marshes, followed by drinks in Golden Key.
9th August – nightjar and glow-worm walk on Snape Warren.
11th October – planted 2000 crocus and 1300 daffodils along Church Road with staff and all 43 pupils of Snape School.
14th November – work party on Snape Marshes removing silver birch seedlings to restore heathland area.  11 attended.
4th December – work party on Snape Marshes to remove old fence and clear scrub for installation of new cattle-proof fence.  12 attended.
14th December – social event for members and committee at the Crown

17th January, 2018 – website domain name  purchased.  
20th January – work party to renovate Snape School gardens.  40 adults plus children.
26th January – meet the (rare breed) sheep walk on Snape Warren
7th March – seating on village green completed
9th March – meet-the-sheep walk on Snape Warren for Snape School
17th March – crocuses on Church Road in full flower, daffodils just coming out
19th March – planted drifts of oxeye daisies and cowslips on village green and opposite
5th June – orchid walk on SWT Snape Marshes
24th June – one-year anniversary walk on the non-car park marsh
18th July - nightjar and glow-worm walk on Snape Warren
26th July – trip to Otley Hall with afternoon tea
31st July and 1st Aug – work party SWT Snape Marshes – removed cut grass to encourage orchids etc
4th August – stand at Snape Fête
27th August – two barn owl chicks ringed on SWT Snape Marshes, then drinks in Golden Key
8th September – sign cleaning throughout village.  12 volunteers.
30th October – members social evening and AGM at village hall
31st Oct – planted 750 crocus, 1000 daffodils along Church Road, at the entrance to The Glebes and outside Village Hall with staff and all pupils of Snape School.
11th December – work party on SWT Snape Marshes clearing and burning invasive scrub in reedbed.  Eight members took part.

Derek Walduck