New homes on farmland project is against policy, say objectors

The field in Ferry Road, Felixstowe, seen through one of the windows of the pillbox on the site.

The field in Ferry Road, Felixstowe, seen through one of the windows of the pillbox on the site. - Credit: Archant

Experts have attacked proposals for 200 new homes on farmland on the edge of Old Felixstowe – saying the scheme is “clearly contrary” to policy and could harm an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Suffolk Preservation Society, which is calling for the development of the 12-acre site in Ferry Road to be refused, said the homes would introduce light, noise and significant traffic movement into a tranquil area.

Director Fiona Cairns said: “In addition the AONB setting will be detrimentally altered by the development of the site which currently serves as a buffer between the edge of the designated area and the urban fringe.”

Optima Land and Property has submitted the scheme to Suffolk Coastal council, which has yet to make a decision.

Felixstowe Town Council has recommended refusal, and the district council has received more than 200 objections.

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The Suffolk Preservation Society is concerned about several aspects of the proposals.

Ms Cairns said the selected site is outside the settlement boundary of Felixstowe on land classified as high quality Grade 2 agricultural land and policy says lesser quality land should be developed first.

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She said: “It is clear that the brownfield capacity of Felixstowe has not been exhausted and a sequential approach to the selection of the site has not been followed.

“By prioritising high quality land above brownfield and lesser quality agricultural land, this application is contrary to national planning policy.”

She said the scheme was “clearly contrary” to a number of policies.

Optima says the land is already bounded on two sides by housing.

It said: “Most of the houses are positioned side-on to the site, as if development on each of the three roads was intended to be extended into the site.

“There is a requirement for new homes in Felixstowe and a development of up to 200 new homes will be an important step in starting to address this need.

“Additional homes will help to support the creation of new employment opportunities and will help to reduce the level of commuting to the town.”

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