Unsurprisingly, East Suffolk Council have given themselves permission to develop the former Deben School site on Garrison Lane to their own specifications – in spite of objections from the public and Felixstowe Town Council.
ESC’s planning committee voted eight to one in favour of its own development for the space, which will see 45 apartments and maisonettes created in addition to 16 houses.
The former assembly hall will be revamped as some sort of community space (although no details are yet forthcoming), and the decision also approved outline permission for the old Sports Hall to become home to the bowls club, with a cricket pitch and pavilion on the playing fields to become the new home of Felixstowe & Corinthians Cricket Club.
Now I think everybody would agree something needs to be done with the site – and there was always the view that houses were inevitable. But why oh why does there always have to be such a density – and why are parking needs not recognised?
There were 60 objections from the public and FTC mainly on the issue of lack of parking provision.
Councillor Stuart Bird probably summed it up best when he said: “This concept of being pedestrian-led and parking-free is all very laudable in intention and ambition but it doesn’t reflect the reality of habit of the likely occupiers.”
Exactly! ESC comment was there is a car park a mile away and residents could use that and walk. Really!! I sometimes wonder if our elected representatives live in the real world.
The same problem is going to appear I should imagine when thousands of homes are created on the site of the North Garden Estate (or whatever unlikely name they are calling it). ESC pride themselves on having declared a climate emergency and being as a council environmentally aware – although the ironic nature of ‘keeping it green’ while building over huge swaths of our precious countryside seems to be lost on them
And no doubt planners will go on about the need to make the new estate bike and pedestrian friendly – but the fact of the matter is people have cars and unless all cars are banned and we are forced onto public transport en mass – the number of cars per household will continue to be an issue.
And as for affordable homes – i have yet to see any of the current developments being truly affordable to the average young person these days. The most likely outcome is they get snapped up by landlords and rented out at an exorbitant rate – or bought as second homes.
The other question must be – with all the houses currently being built on the peninsula – including the much objected to new developments at Walton and Trimley – where are these people going to work? How is our infrastructure going to cope and how are they going to get in and out on roads already congested and very easily brought to a standstill if there is any sort of breakdown or accident?
Meanwhile back at the Deben site – despite the concerns raised, planning officers felt the benefits – which included a new use for a brownfield site, 42 much-needed affordable homes and new sports facilities to secure the future of the bowls and cricket clubs – outweighed the concerns.
Or maybe it was the thought of the revenue to be made – or am I being over cynical?
Work can begin on the homes and community space element when the council is ready as it has secured full planning permission, but as the sports facilities plan was in outline form, a further application must come forward in future with the full details on that scheme for approval.