Chips are down for casino plan
THE chips are down for a controversial plan to build a 57-bedroom hotel and casino in the centre of Felixstowe.Suffolk Coastal District Council is recommending that the redevelopment of the Palace bingo and cinema complex, in Crescent Road, is refused when councillors meet on February 20 to examine the proposals.
By Richard Smith
THE chips are down for a controversial plan to build a 57-bedroom hotel and casino in the centre of Felixstowe.
Suffolk Coastal District Council is recommending that the redevelopment of the Palace bingo and cinema complex, in Crescent Road, is refused when councillors meet on February 20 to examine the proposals.
A council report released yesterday did support the plan in principle - but officers want to turn it down because the 4am closure of the casino would lead to too much noise and disturbance for nearby residents.
They added the properties in Penfold Road and Cobbold Road would be overlooked and the enlarged building would be too big for the site.
The project involved altering the cinema into a three-storey leisure complex with a bingo hall and casino on the ground floor, a leisure club and gym on the first floor and two cinemas and a conference room on the second floor.
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An extension would be built to cover the existing car park and there were plans for 57 bedrooms on the first and second floors, with a restaurant and bar on the ground floor.
There has been a large amount of opposition to the scheme with 144 letters from objectors and a petition signed by 33 people. They were particularly worried by the late-night departure of casino gamblers and the lack of parking for the hotel and leisure users.
However, 162 people including 138 residents of Felixstowe signed a statement supporting the scheme. They pointed out there was car parking in surrounding streets and the Crescent Road public car park, and there was a demand for late night entertainment.
Felixstowe Society said it would be a ''retrograde step'' to have a casino and the altered building would be a monolithic block in the town centre.
Felixstowe Town Centre Residents' Association said shoppers' cars would be forced into residential streets when hotel users and staff parked in the public car park. The town council was ''vehemently opposed'' to the casino closing at 4am, although it was happy with the overall concept for the site.