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Iken: Nearly 100 people object to plans to extend Jumbo’s Cottage

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 November 2012 | UPDATED: 14:59 23 November 2012

A CONTROVERSIAL bid to extend a former Suffolk harbourmaster’s cottage has attracted nearly 100 objections, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal.

Ben Emerson, of Letheringham near Wickham Market, wants to develop Jumbo’s Cottage, Iken, to include a modern single-storey extension and an underground car park.

Ninety-two people have objected to Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) over the plans, with 15 writing in favour.

The property, situated on the banks of the River Alde estuary, has been coined the “icon of Iken”.

One objector, a neighbour of Jumbo’s Cottage, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I think most people’s objection is it’s too big and totally out of keeping with the character of this backwater. It’s so conspicuous it will totally stuff up the atmosphere.

“I think if he was to scale it down a bit and dig more into the bank – so it was not 150% bigger than what’s there at the moment – it would not be objected to.

“There is always going to be some people complaining but I don’t fall into that category. Most people wouldn’t object if it was more sympathetic.

“It’s so big and it’s going to block the view of the river from the footpath. It’s out of keeping with the sleepy atmosphere there.”

An earlier application, registered in April this year, to demolish the cottage and replace it with a new property was withdrawn amid strong opposition for nearby residents.

Conservation officers at SCDC also objected, saying it was a “non-designated heritage asset that ought to be retained”.

But they told Mr Emerson it might be possible to gain planning approval for keeping the existing cottage and adding an extension.

A spokesman for SCDC said the proposals are still being evaluated by its planning officers.

He added if they are minded to approve the application it would be referred to the council’s planning development control committee for a decision.

The building was originally owned, and subsequently named after Cecil Alexander Ward – also known as Jumbo – a sailing teacher and maritime pilot who chartered boats in the area.

This year, Bonhams auctioneers sold a painting of Jumbo’s Cottage by landscape artist Marcus Ford for £150.

The cottage was also depicted in a painting by George Thomas Rope in the 1800s.

Sailor’s Path, which runs alongside the estuary linking Snape and Aldeburgh, passes the property.

Patrick Allen Architects, which is handling the application on behalf of Mr Emerson, declined to comment.

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