Felixstowe Town Council have released their official response to the Final Draft of the Local Plan.
Although many in the community would maybe wish that their response had been a more robust rejection of everything proposed – realistically that was never going to happen. This is a measured and relatively conservative response in which they sound a positive note that ‘the Final Draft encompasses a large number of changes recommended by Felixstowe Town Council and reflects many of the representations made during the First Draft Consultation stage,’ while sounding some notes of caution.
But interestingly the final paragraph states that the Council supports the overall aims but cannot recommend the Plan is ‘sound’ until certain concerns raised by the Council have been addressed – which reading through the response seem mainly connected with road and public transport access to the sites in question.
You can read the Council’s full response here
But for those short on time these are the salient points:
NORTH FELIXSTOWE GARDEN NEIGHBOURHOOD
Although the Council does not reject the idea of a North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood, and it does congratulate the plan in that it now provides protection for ‘the important community open space at Eastward Ho, adjacent to the Grove woodland’, the Council still feels that ‘the site should also provide a much wider range of green spaces, and better walking and cycling access to countryside beyond that which currently exists’, and ‘does not explicitly address the need for good
internal vehicular accesses across the development, incorporating such access so that it can function as a coherent whole and develop as recognisable community in its own right.’
FTC also feels the plan should reflect the fact that this development is a new community in its own right by making provision for adopting it as a new ‘gateway’ to the town.
FTC accepts that development there will continue but has problems with vehiclular access to both the new development and any future developments in that area.
NEW LEISURE CENTRE
FTC accepts the Leisure Centre will move from its current position on the seafront and that Brackenbury Sports Centre will close and become a housing development.
But it takes issue with the provision of adequate parking for any new retail development resulting from the Garden Neighbourhood or the move of the Leisure Centre – and sounds a warning note that the move of the Leisure Centre does not result in the facility being surrounded by residential development or that the design of the Leisure Centre is allowed to be big and bold enough to warrant a brand new facility.
Although it feels that the Innocent Farm development is out of its remit for specific comment it does recommend that the Local Plan should explicitly require that graded road junctions to the site from both sides of the A14 are provided ahead of the development, to ensure that associated HGV traffic is not required to circulate at J58 (Seven Hills) or J59 (Trimley/Kirton) in order to access the site.