Neighbours object to proposals to demolish former Felixstowe Blue Cross centre
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
Proposals to demolish a former animal welfare centre and replace it with new homes have generated opposition from worried neighbours.
A major campaign was fought to save the Blue Cross centre in Walton High Street, Felixstowe, from closure and the charity’s bosses eventually agreed to keep it – but then to move it to a new, larger complex once funds could be raised.
It has since been relocated to Wherstead with state-of-the-art facilities for the animals.
Now the vacant, old premises – which were home to the Blue Cross from 1971 to 2015 after it moved from another site in Walton – could be knocked down and 10 homes built on the site by James Francis Homes Ltd.
Suffolk Coastal council, which will decide the plans, has received a number of objections from residents living close to the site, primarily concerned at the density of homes proposed for the land, loss of privacy and outlook, and the impact on trees and wildlife.
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Phil Cobbold Planning Ltd, for the applicants, said: “The application proposes residential use of an existing brownfield site.
“The proposed use is justified on the basis that the development represents an urban regeneration scheme that will provide a range of new family homes in a sustainable location, helping to reduce the pressure to build on greenfield land.
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“Given that the site is in a sustainable location, within walking distance of local services and bus stops, it is likely that the number of daily vehicular movements associated with the proposed dwellings will not be materially different to that previously generated by the Blue Cross Centre. Consequently, the proposed development will not have a material impact on highway safety.”
The company said no affordable housing was proposed because the number of homes and total floorspace fell below the government threshold.
Felixstowe Town Council has welcomed the housing mix and design of the scheme and recommended approval.
Councillors did want some changes to the plans, including the retention and protection of the site’s very characteristic boundary wall, conditions regarding flooding, and some glass be changed in two of the houses to prevent overlooking of neighbouring homes.