Felixstowe: Calls for clifftop flats scheme to be rejected

The proposed McCarthy and Stone development on the clifftops at the junction of Hamilton Gardens and

The proposed McCarthy and Stone development on the clifftops at the junction of Hamilton Gardens and Cambridge Road in Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Community leaders are calling for the rejection of a multi-million pound clifftop homes project for older people because it could affect the setting of two iconic and important Edwardian buildings.

Leading retirement house builder McCarthy & Stone has submitted proposals for 46 high-quality Later Living apartments on a site at the corner of Cambridge Road and Hamilton Gardens, Felixstowe.

The project would see the demolition of Hamilton House and redevopment of its site and the neighbouring car park.

However, Felixstowe Town Council, which accepts the principle of development, is concerned about the former hotels Harvest House and Cliff House either side of the proposed scheme, which it describes as “striking and iconic” and “at the core of the Edwardian vista of the resort”.

It feels the contemporary design eight and nine-storey high two-building linked complex would still be too high, although it is lower than the approved plans for luxury apartments on the site.

Members of the plans committee recommended refusal unless changes to the design can be agreed.

McCarthy & Stone said there was a high level of support for the proposals – with 77% of the formal feedback received following a public exhibition supporting the project.

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Lorena Brown, regional managing director at the company, said: “We would like to thank those members of the community who took the time to give us their feedback on the proposals, which has helped us to refine and improve our plans before submitting the application. We’re very encouraged by the positive local feedback we’ve received and have striven to introduce a scheme that will make a positive contribution to the special character of the area whilst improving the range of housing choice available to people in later life.”

The company said the design closely followed the principles of the agreed plans for the land, with the buildings lower and also set further back from Brownlow Road, an improvement when compared with previous plans.

The scheme would also use high-quality materials, including brickwork tone, to ensure the buildings reflect neighbouring properties and respect the conservation area.

The Later Living proposals include a residents’ lounge, guest accommodation and other shared facilities. They are run by a fully-trained house manager.

The flats will be for people aged over 60 and McCarthy & Stone say the average age of those buying such properties is 78.

Suffolk Coastal District Council will make the final decision on the scheme.