Views sought on 2,000-home ‘garden neighbourhood’ plan for Felixstowe

The northern edge of Felixstowe could be designated as a new Garden Neighbourhood Picture: ARCHANT

The northern edge of Felixstowe could be designated as a new Garden Neighbourhood Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Consultation is taking place over the project, which would see 350 acres of farmland stretching from the A14 dock spur roundabout to Old Felixstowe developed over the next 18 years.

Gulpher Road will remain a 'Quiet Lane' and could be closed to traffic Picture: ARCHANT

Gulpher Road will remain a 'Quiet Lane' and could be closed to traffic Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

In addition to the 2,000 homes, the development would include a new state-of-the-art leisure centre to replace Brackenbury Sports Centre, Felixstowe Leisure Centre and the Eastward Ho pitches; new primary school with early years provision; open space; community hub, which could include convenience store, shops, medical facilities and meeting place; retirement homes including a care home and sheltered complex; and employment land.

The project for countryside between the Walton bypass, Candlet Road, and Gulpher Road, is included in the new draft Local Plan for the Suffolk Coastal district.

Council officers say the aim would be to collaborate with landowners, civic authorities and community groups to create a masterplan for the area.

The district council says: “Large scale development through a Garden Neighbourhood is proposed for Felixstowe to enable the delivery of modern leisure facilities to meet the needs of the town as well as the District and beyond.

Gulpher fields, Felixstowe, as a rider comes out of the mist Picture: PHIL GRIFFITHS

Gulpher fields, Felixstowe, as a rider comes out of the mist Picture: PHIL GRIFFITHS - Credit: citizenside.com


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“Felixstowe is well served in respect of services and facilities but directing growth to this area will support the focus on the continued regeneration of the town as well as minimising the need to travel to access employment opportunities and essential services and facilities.

“The existing leisure centres in Felixstowe are coming to the end of their operational life and the council considers it necessary to redevelop these existing facilities with a new purpose built modern facility which will serve the community for future generations.

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“A new modern facility will significantly improve the recreational facilities available to the local community as well as attracting visitors from outside of

Felixstowe.”

Mayor of Felixstowe Graham Newman said: “That our town needs more housing cannot be disputed – you only have to see the rate at which the Walton Gate development (behind the Academy) – amongst others – has been built out and occupied over the past year.

“We have a desperate need for all kinds of housing, and as a local councillor I am aware of hundreds of people on the housing list. For example, just one resident I can quote within the town has just been moved 30 miles away to Peasenhall in order to get a property, because there is no immediate chance of anything suitable for her and her growing family becoming available in Felixstowe.

“Where she has been moved to has no television signal, no broadband internet, no mobile phone signal, no school, no employment, no bus, no train, and she’ll have no friends or family nearby to support her.

“Since the turn of the 1900s Felixstowe has grown pretty well consistently at the rate of about 100 houses a year (with the exception of the war years), and this draft local plan does not propose anything more ambitious over the next 20 years ... and importantly, it’s still a draft. And just because land is zoned for housing in a Local Plan (let alone a draft), it does not necessary mean that everything proposed will be built.”

Tony Fryatt, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member with responsibility for planning, said: “This is an ambitious document, which lays out how we see the district developing in the future, so it is important that local people take this opportunity to have their say on the first draft plan, before the proposals go any further.”

Comments on the First Draft Local Plan can be submitted via:

The council’s online consultation portal or via email to suffolkcoastallocalplan@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Or in writing to Planning Policy & Delivery Team, East Suffolk House, Station Road, Riduna Park, Melton, Woodbridge, IP12 1RT.

Consultation on the First Draft Local Plan ends at 5pm on Friday, September 14.

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