September 2 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Controversial proposals for up to 200 new homes on farmland next to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are set to be approved, despite more than 230 objections from residents.
Felixstowe Town Council has labelled the project for a site in Ferry Road as “over-development”, conservation group The Felixstowe Society has objected and Suffolk Preservation Society has also voiced concerns.
Suffolk Coastal District Council planning officers though say the 12-acre scheme submitted by Optima Land and Property should be approved and will provide much-needed new homes for the resort, with one-third of the properties set to be affordable homes.
The council says the town needs 1,760 new homes in the next 12 years.
In their objections, residents have catalogued a long list of concerns – including the unacceptable loss of a greenfield site, high-quality agricultural land, before all brownfield sites are used; and traffic concerns, especially as the adjoining Gulpher Road is to become a ‘quiet lane, the town centre is 1.2miles away and no bus routes nearby.
In a report to councillors, who will decide the fate of the project on February 6, case officer Liz Beighton said: “The proposal represents a sustainable residential scheme, makes efficient use of the land, sits comfortably in its surroundings and is suitable and available for development.
“There are no barriers to development in this instance and the site accords with the strategy for development advocated in the Core Strategy.”
She said it would also bring “significant economic benefits”.
Each new home was estimated to generate £36,700 of economic value and the scheme would bring £7.34million of benefits, as well as providing homes for workers for new projects creating extra jobs.