Campaigners seek High Court action over Felixstowe Candlet Road homes go-ahead

Whitehall has backed an inspector's report into 560 homes on the Gulpher Road area of Felixstowe and

Whitehall has backed an inspector's report into 560 homes on the Gulpher Road area of Felixstowe and granted planning permission - Credit: Archant

People in Felixstowe are being urged to write to the area’s planning chief and insist a judicial review is held into moves to build 560 new homes on countryside on the edge of the resort

Residents fear that development creeping into the countryside around Felixstowe will mean all the ar

Residents fear that development creeping into the countryside around Felixstowe will mean all the area's fields are eventually lost - Credit: Archant

Campaigners say it will mean precious countryside being “slabbed over” and fear the 77-acre estate will be the thin end of the wedge, threatening the town’s remaining farm fields and grazing meadows.

Christchurch Land and Estates has been granted permission by Whitehall for the housing off Candlet Road and Gulpher Road following a planning inquiry, which overturned Suffolk Coastal’s refusal of the project.

Felixstowe town councillor Kimberley Williams said: “560 homes stretching from the old golf driving range to the edge of the Grove Woods will affect all of us, not just those living in Walton.

“If this appeal decision is left unchallenged, it will only be a matter of time before all the surrounding fields are filled in by developers, and Felixstowe will lose the last of its countryside.”

She said the final opportunity to preserve the land at Candlet Farm from large scale housing development would be for residents to write to Philip Ridley, head of planning services at Suffolk Coastal council, and the their local district councillor, asking the council to start a judicial review on the grounds that the appeal decision failed to take into account facts which demonstrate the authority has a five-year housing land supply.

She added: “This may be the triumph of hope over experience, but there is much to lose by not at least trying.”

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The newly-agreed action plan for the seaside town seeks to protect its countryside, maintaining Candlet Road (the Walton bypass) as its natural boundary, but this will now be breached.

Earlier, the David Lock blueprint for the resort had suggested the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty be extended to include the area to protect it for wildlife and informal recreation, such as walking, running, cycling and horse riding.

Suffolk Coastal threw out the plan – which includes a care home, assisted living units and a community centre – because its “significant harm” would outweigh any economic benefits.

However, the planning inquiry inspector Clive Hughes said the council could not show a five-year housing land supply.

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