Felixstowe Town Council Votes To Support Controversial New Houses Scheme

On Thursday night Felixstowe Town Council formerly accepted SCDC’s controversial Local Plan in principal – with its main proposal being a 2000 home North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood being created on land that is an AONB site. In spite of a good deal of growing community opposition only three councillors voted against adopting the plan – the Labour Cllrs Mike Deacon and Kimberly Williams and Conservative Christina Barham.

If you feel that Town Councillors are not representing your views you can make your feelings clear when the next round of local elections occurs. In the meantime you can lobby your local councillor with your views by e mailing or writing to them. All e mail address and postal address are on the Town Council website.

There is still time for you to make your views known on SCDC’s local plan. Click on the links below – BUT YOU MUST COMMENT BEFORE 5pm THIS EVENING, Friday SEPT 14th

You can find an interactive map and all you need to know by clicking on this link

Comments on the First Draft Local Plan can be submitted via:

The Council’s online consultation portal: http://consult.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/consult.ti

Emailing: suffolkcoastallocalplan@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Or writing to Planning Policy & Delivery Team, East Suffolk House, Station Road, Riduna Park, Melton, Woodbridge, IP12 1RT.

If you want to read in full the Town Council’s letter of acceptance the link is below..

https://www.felixstowe.gov.uk/town-council-response-to-scdc-first-draft-local-plan-consultation/

I have however highlighted some points of concern from their response that I think are worth noting.

  1. General Acceptance – and Reasons for Same

In general, whilst we understand the concerns expressed by some members of the public over the housing allocation proposed for Felixstowe, the Town Council recognises the need to strategically and carefully plan for a good mix of housing to support aspirations for our existing residents – be they growing families, first-time buyers or people looking to downsize – as well as the long-term growth and continued investment in the town. The Town Council also understands that the existing and proposed allocations for the northern part of Felixstowe, totalling around 2,000 homes over the next 20 years, is consistent with average growth for this town since the turn of the 1900s. On the basis that a masterplan for the North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood will secure the infrastructure necessary to ensure this area can be appropriately connected to and deliver enhancements for the wider Felixstowe community, the Town Council endorses this approach. Felixstowe Town Council is therefore pleased to support the overall ambitions of the Suffolk Coastal District Council First Draft Local Plan, subject to the following comments in relation to the proposed policies therein.

2) Infrastructure

Felixstowe Town Council is pleased to note and support the key strategic infrastructure projects detailed in this policy. In addition, consideration should be given to the need to upgrade the Seven Hills and Foxhall roundabouts; widening Candlet Road; improving sewerage capacity; and upgrading the resilience of the electricity supply – especially around Port area. Sustainable links to/from Felixstowe across the Deben and Orwell rivers should also be included. Currently, some of our residents and businesses are not able to access a comprehensive range of high quality digital communication services and this is essential in a major centre such as Felixstowe

3) Retaining open spaces

 

Felixstowe Town Council strongly supports this policy as, in accordance with our comments to SCLP3.6, there is a general need for existing open spaces to be preserved, enhanced or otherwise re-provided to ensure that all residents have easy-access to informal recreational green space. In Felixstowe, this is particularly relevant in respect of the Grove woodland and Eastward Ho open space.

 4) Integration of New neighbourhood

 

The North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood concept presents a unique opportunityto provide an iconic gateway to the town and the masterplan should address this by pursuing high-quality design throughout. Felixstowe Town Council believes that the aspirations of para.12.34 as fundamental to the success of the North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood and would like to see this strengthened and prioritised within the Local Plan as it is essential that the masterplan establishes close links to the town centre and heart of Felixstowe. The policy should also be clear about the specific requirements to achieve this, for example, the potential to provide a cycle/footbridge over Candlet Road. A site specific S106 agreement should be secured and tied to this development as opposed to the reliance on the Community Infrastructure Levy from which funds could be used towards projects outside of the Felixstowe area.

5) The Leisure Centre

 

In respect of Policy SCLP12.14, the site presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for an ambitious, modern and iconic tourist attraction if a new leisure centre is to be located elsewhere. It is essential that the site be prioritised for this purposed and not left derelict. Felixstowe Town Council strongly urges that the policy mandates for a fitting redevelopment project to be appropriately timetabled to commence as soon as the site becomes vacant. Felixstowe Town Council also requests the District Council to consider a resort-focused masterplan for the whole south seafront area from Convalescent Hill to Martello Park

6) Innocence Farm Development

 

Felixstowe Town Council respectfully refrains from commenting on the suitability or otherwise for uses of land in other parishes. However, given that the Innocence Farm site has been identified for such a large-scale employment allocation in close proximity to Felixstowe for the express purpose of supporting the continued Port of Felixstowe, the Town Council has a legitimate interest in the policy for this site and the likely effect on Felixstowe in terms of the potential impact on the A14. Though we acknowledge the clear impact on neighbouring parishes, Felixstowe Town Council is broadly in favour of this development in support of the expansion and continued success of the Port of Felixstowe. However, it is critical that the extent and perimeter of the site pays the maximum respect to the environment and its neighbours. Due to the anticipated 3,200 container lorries and 600 cars daily to and from the proposed site, the Town Council requests that the impact of this on the A14 is evaluated to take in to account the additional traffic which will be generated by ongoing port expansion projects, planned residential developments, Sizewell C and other growth factors. Access options for the site are wholly inadequate as currently proposed and the Town Council strongly requests that the Local Plan mandate that an underpass be provided from the A14 for access to and from Croft Lane ahead of commencement of any development. Failure to do so will put unnecessary additional pressure on the Trimley (J59 – traffic from the site wishing to travel west) and Seven Hills (J58 – traffic from the Port seeking to access the site)

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2 thoughts on “Felixstowe Town Council Votes To Support Controversial New Houses Scheme

  1. To whom it may concern.

    I strongly object to Felixstowe Council accepting the draft (decided) proposal for 2000 new homes on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Felixstowe already struggles with traffic congestion, particularly when A14 closed or when trains don’t run effectively because they are obstructed by freight services. With the constant threat of the hospital closing or changing hours of service, how will more people use the service without having to go to ipswich. Whilst we do need to think about housing for the future, I see no proposal to create single storey accommodation for our growing elderly population and affordable housing (for people on Gig contracts) who’ll be providing care to this demographic. Furthermore, we do not have enough teachers, GPs and nurses nationally, let alone locally. And will we be given a police presence to deal properly with the crime that will increase? Without the necessary infrastructure being in place before any houses are built, how will these houses be serviced?
    With the national brick shortage and concerns for the environment, I saw no plans to use eco-friendly building materials and technology. I fear that felixstowe and the surrounding area is going to lose it’s identity as a small town with out-laying villages.

    Ivan Osborne

    Like

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