Despite opposition from local action groups over a number of years, plans to build 385 new homes on the edge of Felixstowe, opposite another field where permission has been granted for 190, have gone a step closer with plans for the relocation of Felixstowe Rifle Club to a new state-of-the-art premises now approved in principle – and new drawings submitted to SCDC seeking permission for the final, detailed project.
The development in Nicholas Road, Trimley St Mary, will include a 100-yard and 50-metre outdoor rifle range, each with 12 firing points; a 50m indoor range for use with noisier, more powerful rifles; an indoor air gun range, clubhouse and armoury building with toilet and kitchen facilities, two shipping containers to provide extra storage, and a 48-space car park.
The scheme also includes landscaping, earth bunding and noise mitigation measures.
The site would not be seen from any footpath and was 350m from the nearest homes in Cordys Lane.
According to a spokesman for the developers the project met the requirements of Felixstowe Rifle Club and would help secure the future of its sporting activities in the area, re-providing the facilities in a modern, purpose-built scheme.
The rifle club has done sterling work over many years to nurture safe shooting, train regional and national champions, and to run activities such as one of the few clubs in the country for blind shooters. It has also been used as a training base for Uzbekistan Olympic rifle shooter, Sakina Mamedova
Both housing schemes are being developed by landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, and will remove the buffer zone between Felixstowe and Trimley St Mary.
Planners have identified the need for 1,760 new homes in Felixstowe and nearby villages and already earmarked the Walton Green North site for up to 400 homes in the draft Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan so the plans are not expected to receive official opposition.
The latest scheme will see 385 homes built on the 30-acre Walton Green North site in Walton High Road, earlier earmarked for a Tesco superstore, which was rejected by councillors after huge local opposition.
The development will include some small business units, public open space, and a link road through the site to connect High Street and the Walton bypass, Candlet Road, with roundabouts at each end.
Trinity College said the development – and the 190 homes on Walton Green South next to Felixstowe Academy – would be built over a number of years.
However – once again it looks as though the landowner will wriggle out of the need to include affordable homes in the mix. Planning policy says 120 should be built in such a large development.
Council officials said the applicants had indicated affordable homes would depend on the overall viability of the development at Walton North in Walton High Street, while college representatives at Felixstowe Town Council’s planning and environment committee said talks were taking place with Suffolk Coastal on the issue