Suffolk A140 upgrade will 'unlock' Eye airfield

Eye Airfield Image copyright Adrian Cable/Geograph
Image caption Eye Airfield's development since the 1980s has been described as "piecemeal"

One of Suffolk's busiest roads is to get a £5.36m upgrade which is expected to "unlock" the development of an industrial estate at a former airfield.

Two new roundabouts will be installed on the A140 next to Eye Airfield - and a new link road will be built with the B1077.

The plans have been approved by Suffolk County Council on Tuesday, according to the Local Democracy Service.

The council said the work could be completed by the summer of 2020.

The airfield was built in 1942 as a base for United States Air Force heavy bombers and it transferred to RAF Bomber Command at the end of World War Two.

The base was sold by the Air Ministry in the early 1960s and converted to an industrial estate.

Image copyright Suffolk County Council
Image caption The council's plan includes two roundabouts on the A140 with a new link road linking the northern roundabout to the B1077

The planning report said it had been developed "piecemeal" since the 1980s, which meant access to the site was "inadequate".

Roundabouts will be created to the north and south of the site, and a new road will link the A140 to the B1077, which runs along the eastern edge of the site to the town of Eye.

Thrandeston Parish Council objected to the plans, saying it would add to local traffic congestion.

The council's Suffolk Highways spokeswoman said: "This scheme will unlock Eye Airfield for development... and will provide significant highway benefits.

"Access to the A140 will be safer and more efficient, resolving long-standing road safety and congestion issues."

Approval for a gas power station and poultry plant at the airfield site - which will bring more than 700 employees - has also been cited as a need for the improvements.

Image caption The industrial estate, on the main road between Norwich and Ipswich, has four wind turbines

Funding will come from the Department for Transport, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and the council.

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