SCDC Submits Planning Application For Beach Café At South Seafront

Although the idea was only recently touted at a public meeting – and there it was insisted that this was early days and a full consultation process would be gone through – a planning application for a proposed development of a new beach front café on Martello Park has already been submitted by Suffolk Coastal District Council to itself!

The proposal sets out plans for a new beach café and meeting events area ‘the design of which will be based around strong coastal themes and sympathetically balances its sensitive location whilst also being an iconic visual draw to this area’.

Now there is no doubt that the South Seafront area needs regeneration – its been neglected for many years. But at this meeting in July there were a number of proposals – one of which was to knock down the Leisure Centre and replace it with a new sports facility on land at Eastward Ho. The view of many local residents is that this isn’t the right place for such a facility as it involves building on AONB land and further more would not bring people into Felixstowe. The more likely scenario is that a huge housing estate would be built alongside it – and with food outlets etc would take trade away from the town centre and the seafront.

A much more sensible proposal would be to build the new centre on Martello Park, thus keeping it on the seafront while regenerating the West End of Felixstowe and keeping tourists coming into the centre – and building it ideally on this very piece of land the council are proposing for their new café.

SCDC states: ‘The proposal was drawn up after an engagement event was held by us with Felixstowe Forward, in July to seek the views of local people about plans for Felixstowe’s future.’

But the proposal was obviously presented as a fete accompli at this meeting – which was held during the day at time when many local people could not attend due to work commitments etc.

Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Development, said: “This is one of those rare occasions where the Council is the developer, and just like other developers, we need to go through the democratic planning process.

“A lot is happening in Felixstowe at the moment, and Suffolk Coastal has invested a lot in revitalising the town. We believe it is vital that we continue to build on this investment and create developments that benefit local people and visitors to the area.”

‘The proposed area for the development has been designated for a café since the first planning approval in 2009 and again in the implemented 2012 proposals. Although it was not part of the planning permission at the time, it formed a part of the masterplan for the housing developments and Martello Park. ‘

First I’ve heard of it! Or anybody else I suspect.

It’s not too late to give your views. Write to your councillor or Helen Greengrass of Felixstowe Forward at The Town Hall.

To view the planning application, go to: and search for ‘DC/18/3173/FUL’.

A CGI video to illustrate the proposal has also been uploaded on SCDC’s YouTube channel. To view, go to

3 thoughts on “SCDC Submits Planning Application For Beach Café At South Seafront

  1. I did not manage to get to the consultation meeting however I understand the plan is to close the swimming pool and Brackenbury and build something new at the Grove area. I wonder if the council would be better off building a new school on theexisting Deben site and add a multi purpose sports facility (including pool) which could be used evening and weekends by the public. Felixstowe desperately needs a new additional secondary school and combining it with a multi purpose sports facility could kill 2 birds with one stone (so to speak)


  2. My neighbours and I who will be most affected by this monstrosity, have not even been given the courtesy of a reply, despite all of us giving perfectly reasonable objections to this development, which is totally out of proportion to all the new buildings which have been erected in very close proximity.

    None of us were told of this ridiculous folly, when we purchased our properties on Martello Park and doubt whether many of us would have bought if we had known. Bearing in mind this was planned in 2009, how come not one solicitor raised this plan in their searches in 2013 and onwards surely they cannot all be incompetent as to realise the cafe was planned.

    When it was originally planned as a stand alone structure, I have no doubt it may have looked fine. Now after Martello Park has been built, it will be totally out of place, out of proportion and totally out of context to the rest of the area.

    I can only say that many residents in close proximity have been totally mislead and there has been a distinct lack of information coming from the council. This has been an underhand done deal, led by an inept bunch of self centred councillors and the last thing on their minds is the well being and thought for the residents it is supposed to be looking after.

    A very disillusioned voter, who will not forget this underhand way of doing business.

    Yours faithfully,

    Me.P. Orme


    1. Here Here! I totally agree Phillip with all the comments you make.

      Although we are not directly affected we are further up in the Martello Park development and it is clear when we we’re buying our properties we were misled and information of the further development of the site was witheld along with any sight of any such plans of this hideous out of place structure. I have also seen mention of further development to move up to the tower but having searched cannot find any detail on this but am concerned that at some point this will be dropped on us out of the blue too.

      We and neighbours knew nothing of this cafe initially until we saw surveyors outside our properties this year when I made it my business to ask what they were surveying. I then asked at the coffee kiosks had they heard anything about the new proposed cafe the surveyors had told me about here on Martello and they themselves were dismayed they knew nothing about it and had their own concerns over how it would effect their business & livelihood which is a discrace as the council have no thought for the residents of The Martello Park Or other business owners.

      Subsequently I went to look to see if there was any further information like a planning notice at the site but there was nothing and nobody seemed to know anything about it until the next thing I knew BBC local news were reporting the proposal of the cafe with objections from some 15 residents. Had I and other residents been made aware of this, we would, I am sure, without a shadow of a doubt objected to the plan and attended the meeting which we knew nothing about. Residents should have been written to and informed of the meeting and so the council failed to provide residents a fair chance to air their views.

      The size and proportion of the cafe is totally Misplaced and supposed to enhance the area but I really don’t feel they have thought this through and feel it will become a total eyesore notwithstanding the fact out of season the footfall will decrease significantly and If they think a cafe this size will be full they are delusional especially with the languard cafe nearby and with this in mind if it doesn’t work what will it be used for ?
      A drop in centre? And once it’s built it’s too late to address these things.
      Forsight is a wonderful thing but why do we have it but the council clearly don’t.

      Another big concern are the proposed opening hours of this cafe which are totally outrageous opening Monday through until Saturday 8am until 11pm , yes you heard it! 11pm and 8am until 10pm on a Sunday….WHAT ARE THE COUNCIL THINKING??? THIS IS IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO A RESIDENTIAL AREA….
      This is not conducive with any other cafe opening hours I have ever seen which begs the question is it really intended to be a cafe???? or is the wool being pulled over our eyes yet again.
      We have only just reduced the antisocial behaviour here and from what I can see the council are looking to keep unsociable hours which will only encourage it and with this also inevitably comes unacceptable noise levels in this RESIDENTIAL AREA.

      There also has to be the concern of the upkeep of this structure and the surroundings as quite frankly the whole Martello Site is beggining to look very tired, worn & shabby and the councils upkeep of this are is very poor with weeds, dead trees, bald patches, on the play areas, uncut and unkept council hedges, grass and dead planting, compared to the other end of felixstowe where they lavish all their energy and attention to maintain the beautiful gardens.

      We would like our Martello Park to be just as beautiful! But if they can’t do it now it’s not going to get any better we will just be seen, as some in the town refer to us as, “The run down end of Felixstowe” and one flash state of the art out of place cafe is not going to make this any better and they need to tend to it’s green space first as the majority of people that love to visit the Martello Area at present are those that love their green space and tranquil walks with their families and dogs by the sea and it needs to look more inviting just like the beautiful lottery grant gardens of Felixstowe where all the money that has been thrown, these gardens are always busy with people admiring these because of their natural beauty along with lovely planting to attract Bees, Butterfly’s and our wildlife.

      The council should call another meeting for ALL residents of the Martello Park development with advance written notice to give residents the opportunity to attend if they want a true and fair assessment of their feeling around this and impact on the local community.

      Oh and don’t worry Phillip about the Councils lack of keeping you informed as that’s the norm. I wrote several emails and phone calls to them regarding growing concerns of dog fowling on the park several months ago and owners not clearing up after their pets along with the health risk to children and with no final response about what action they were going to take. Suddenly more dog bins appeared and signs to fine owners not clearing up after their pets. I was pleased they took action but felt they were very unprofessional as they just didn’t have the common courtesy to to respond with their plans and what they were going to do
      ( common theme here I think!)

      Your faithfully
      Mrs JCW


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