The Telegraph: Famous view in 'Mr and Mrs Andrews' under threat as council plans bypass through Gainsborough countryside10 March 2018 | 18:06 | FOCUS News Agency
Local campaigners say a proposed Sudbury bypass threatens to destroy the view from the Auberies, an early 19th century house on the border between Essex and Suffolk, and the spot where Mr and Mrs Andrews were painted on their new estate in 1748.
6,000 people have signed an online petition opposing plans for a road which is designed to reduce congestion through the market town.
Local campaigner Julian Manyon, who opposes the plans and owns a farm which would be on the bypass route, said the planned road would "severely damage the town's main asset, which is the countryside to the western side of Sudbury", including "the area which was painted by Thomas Gainsborough".
"The valley seen behind them in the original is, allowing for the changes of modern life, much as it was then, it's open countryside", he added. "It's a fairly unchanged view."
James Cartlidge, the MP for south Suffolk, who is supporting the plan, said the centre of the town was "heavily congested" with HGVs and other traffic.
"In the middle of Sudbury you have this great asset of our town called Gainsborough's House. It's the house he was brought up in, it's now a museum and it's won £7m of lottery funding to be turned into a national museum.
"You can imagine the impact on that historic museum of HGVs lined up next to it - it's not good for the town or its historic centre."
A separate petition created by Mr Cartlidge supporting the planned road has gained 1,609 signatures.
A business case is being drawn up by the council and a public consultation is due to be launched later this year.
Councillor Jane Storey, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Highways, Transport and Rural Matters, said: “I want to make it clear that we are not promoting any specific route, this includes the westerly route which local people have voiced concerns about.
"All route options are being explored and we are looking at all the potential issues that the local community feel need to be considered with a project of this scale. This is a transport infrastructure project, we are not proposing any sites for housing."
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