Bid to build 61 homes at Haven Exchange at Felixstowe is rejected

Planners have refused homes on vacant land at Felixstowe's Haven Exchange site.

Planners have refused homes on vacant land at Felixstowe's Haven Exchange site. - Credit: Archant

Proposals for 61 homes near the Port of Felixstowe have been refused because of the need to keep as much employment land available as possible.

Planners – who rejected the application without taking it to councillors – said the scheme would also create an “isolated community” poorly related to other housing.

Town councillors had also warned that using the 4.2-acre site at Haven Exchange off Dock Gate Number One roundabout would create “an unacceptably isolated pocket” of homes.

Equity Land Ltd drew up the scheme for land at the rear of Peewit Caravan Park, saying while it accepted there was a need to retain and provide a range of employment, it had done all it could to find employment users and felt it time for alternative uses to be considered.

Suffolk Coastal planning case officer Liz Beighton said: “The need for additional land identified as part of the Core Strategy evidence base is over and above that land already allocated for employment uses so the Planning Policy Team consider it inappropriate to release employment land (which is very well related to the port) for non employment uses when there is a clear need for additional land.

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“Although marketing and alternative options have been explored and evidenced by the applicant, it does not fully overcome the criteria outlined in policy or the strategic policy which seeks to deliver additional employment land within the Felixstowe area for port-related activities

“The application is considered to have an adverse impact on the strategic aims for employment growth in the district and this does not outweigh the benefit of providing additional residential units (on an inappropriate site) to contribute towards the council’s five-year housing land supply.”

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The site previously had consent for a distribution warehouse but there was conflict over hours of operation because of the impact of noise on homes above on the Coronation estate.

Pomery Planning Consultants, for the landowners, said the Haven Exchange site had been marketed for 15 to 20 years and had brought offices, a McDonald’s, and Asda was this month granted consent for a supermarket. However, inquiries for the rear of the site have been scarce.

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