Changes to design of fishing hamlet home set to be debated by planners

The striking white three-storey Bala Cottage, the design of which contravenes parts of the agreed pl

The striking white three-storey Bala Cottage, the design of which contravenes parts of the agreed plans - Credit: Archant

Community leaders will tomorrow decide whether or not to order changes to be made to a property which was not built in line with the approved plans.

Bala Cottage, which was constructed in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Felixstowe Ferry, has been branded an “eyesore” by some opponents because of its modern design – and that it dwarfs other buildings at the beauty spot.

Felixstowe Ferry Residents’ Association chairman Graham Henderson said: “We, the residents, I believe without exception, are appalled at the newly constructed building, particularly as it appears to have ignored a large number of application conditions that have been breached.

“These include living accommodation on the ground floor which was specifically excluded, extension of the building outside the original proposed building line, and significant alteration to the original building exterior which was supposed to be retained.

“In addition, in our opinion, the building should never have been given permission originally as it in no way retains typical characteristics of Felixstowe Ferry.”

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Some of the 29 people who have objected to the changes at Bala Cottage, now known as The Lookout, have described it as a “bland and sterile design” and “out of keeping” with the hamlet.

Felixstowe Society chairman Jan Garfield said the three-storey semi-detached finished property “differed substantially” from the original plans.

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She said: “The ‘as-built’ drawing shows almost no vestige of the original dwelling on its principal elevations: a visitor passer-by would have no inkling of what the host dwelling, Bala Cottage, looked like.”

Members of Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee are tomorrow recommended to agree the changes providing a habitable room (bedroom) on the ground floor reverts back to non habitable accommodation as per the approved plans.

Other differences included changes to the design which had reflected the original house on the site, number of windows, and the decision to paint it white, but case officer Liz Beighton said officers believed the other changes were “acceptable having due regard to the relationship to the AONB, neighbouring properties and character of the hamlet”.

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