Felixstowe: Developers allay fears over use of potential community building at Walton Green

A computer-generated view showing the environment proposed by the Walton Green development project a

A computer-generated view showing the environment proposed by the Walton Green development project at Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Potential uses for a new community building at an edge-of-town development have been clarified as part of changes being made to the project.

Town councillors were worried over a long list of potential ideas for the two-storey “open use” building on the Walton Green site at Felixstowe – especially suggestions that it could become a nightclub, pub or takeaway.

The 8,202sq ft building is part of a scheme including a Tesco superstore, 200 homes, live/work units, cafe, business units and allotments for a 30-acre field in Walton High Street.

Tim Collins, a partner in Bidwells, agents for Trinity College, Cambridge, which is jointly developing Walton Green with Tesco, said some changes were being made to the proposals following extensive negotiations with council officials.

One of these would be to clarify the use for the “open use” building, which would now be available for office and business use, facilities such as a creche, healthcare or day centre, or meeting place and leisure, indoor sport or a gym.

Mr Collins said: “I think all these uses are commercially viable either for lease or for Tesco as a community type use if this is made a requirement of the legal agreements for planning permission, or for a trust to take on and manage.

“We wanted to narrow down the potential uses, and provide ideas that were deliverable but also with some flexibility.”

Most Read

The other major change to the plans is that there will now be a direct road link through the site between Candlet Road, the Walton bypass, and Walton High Street, with a roundabout at each end. Although traffic will be able to get through, it will not be a tarmac-top road with a 30mph limit, but traffic calmed, providing access for those who wish to use the route.

Mr Collins said: “It has taken a long time to resolve and has involved extensive negotiations with both Suffolk Coastal and Suffolk County Council and although it was not the original plan, we now feel it is the right solution and hopefully shows that we are responding to the concerns put forward by residents and councillors.”

Felixstowe Rifle Club will also not have to leave its premises on the site until its new headquarters is ready to move into.