New seaside shopping and leisure attraction secures go-ahead
- Credit: Mannings Amusements
Felixstowe looks set for an exciting new seafront attraction this summer – after planners gave the shopping and leisure scheme their blessing.
East Suffolk Council has given the go-ahead to the Beach Street development, which envisages an assortment of street food outlets, vintage shopping and leisure attractions in a range of converted shipping containers alongside the resort's amusement park.
Supporters, residents and visitors have hailed the project as a "bright brave new venture" for Felixstowe and can't wait to see it up and running.
Planning officers have agreed and told the Manning family they can start work on buiding the container leisure park on under-used fairground land on the south side of the amusement park with access from Micklegate Road and Sea Road.
The first phase of the project will see around 16 business units created - some on the ground floor and some above - and a later phase will add another dozen or so.
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Businesses will include catering outlets providing a wide variety of food, and shops selling a wide range of items such as vintage clothing, jewellery, flowers, gifts and beauty products and many others, aiming at new-starts and pop-ups to provide variety. There will be around 1,000sq m of outlets.
The Manning family say the scheme - which will be set in a block paved "street" with pathways, seating, palm trees and interactive landscaping - will show the resort is a "progressive and proactive town" and will drive economic growth and create jobs.
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Planning case officer Natalie Webb said the plans were in line with the council's aims for Felixstowe as a visitor destination.
She said: "The regeneration of the resort area will be enabled to boost its appeal as a tourist destination and address issues of deprivation, particularly at the southern end.
"Overall the strategy will seek to expand the tourism role in terms of services, facilities and accommodation, building on the qualities and facilities offered by the town of Felixstowe, and creating strong links between the seafront and town centre areas.
"The proposal fully accords with these aspirations by providing uses which will attract both local residents and tourists."
She said the scheme would provide a new resort experience.
She added: "The town council had initial concerns about the proposed uses for the site, however the additional information in respect of the proposed uses and operating hours has overcome initial concerns."
The Manning family is aiming to start work as soon as possible.