Bid is made to save Art Deco property on Felixstowe seafront

The Suffolk Coastal offices and TIC up for sale on Felixstowe seafront.

The Suffolk Coastal offices and TIC up for sale on Felixstowe seafront. - Credit: Archant

A bid to list one of the last Art Deco buildings on a resort’s seafront and save it from the bulldozers has been formally made to English Heritage.

Suffolk Coastal has decided to move its offices and Tourist Information Centre at Felixstowe – leaving the 20th Century building in Undercliff Road West empty and up for sale, with possible demolition and site redevelopment.

The building has been described as a distinctive feature of the seafront and “well worth keeping” and Felixstowe Town Council has now made an application to have it listed for its architectural merit.

The council has sent details of why the property should be preserved and sent a set of photographs.

In its submission, it says the architectural style is rare and a “very good example of an Art deco style building with fine Art Nouveau glasswork”, and a fine mahogany staircase, and is one of only half a dozen Art Deco buildings left on the seafront.

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While the building has not yet been sold and no planning application has been received for its future, there are fears that redevelopment may be on the cards.

The town council said: “Local concerns are that due to their location and awkward footprint, the ultimate outcome will be a redevelopment of the site so that a sale can be achieved.

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“Dependent on the proposed future use, there would be potentially a significant detrimental effect on the adjacent Felixstowe Town Hall which is regarded by the local community as an iconic seafront building of 1892.”

Not all councillors were in favour of seeking listing because of the restrictions it could bring on conversion or re-use with some fearing this could deter a new owner or leave the property empty and deteriorating for some years.

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