Opponents of proposals for 10,400 new homes to take protests to inquiry

Opponents make their views known earlier this month at the council meeting to accept the new Suffolk

Opponents make their views known earlier this month at the council meeting to accept the new Suffolk Coastal Local Plan Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

People are being offered a final chance to have their say on proposals to build more than 10,000 new homes in coastal Suffolk in the next 16 years.

The plans also contain a host of other projects including major areas of land set aside for industry – aiming to create 6,500 new jobs.

Opponents are planning to take their objections to an inquiry before an independent inspector in the hope of overturning the allocations and forcing the council into a rethink.

Tony Fryatt, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member for planning, said: “This Local Plan is an important and ambitious document, which provides a framework for how we see this district developing over the next two decades.”

“As can be seen from the level of vocal interest displayed at our Full Council meeting, the draft plan will impact on the lives of local people. We believe we have created a plan which encourages a dynamic, growing economy, with developments that bring in much-needed homes and are supported by the correct infrastructure, while protecting our unique local environment.

“As a council, we have always said we welcome the right development in the right areas. This plan is an important step towards us being able to effectively avoid unwanted developments that would harm our communities or environment.”

“Without the Local Plan, we would find it very difficult to reject speculative developments. We could end up with a development free-for-all in Suffolk Coastal that could harm all of our communities.

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“There has already been extensive consultation with local stakeholders and the public to get the plan to this stage. These comments have shaped the current draft plan. I would encourage people to study this important document in its entirety and have their say, before it goes forward to be considered by the independent planning inspector.”

The proposals include plans for garden neighbourhoods of 800 homes at Saxmundham and 2,000 in Felixstowe.

In all it will provide 10,476 new homes across the district by 2036.

Another highly contentious issue is the plan for a 300-acre business park for the Port of Felixstowe on land alongside the A14 at Kirton and Trimley St Martin.

KATCAG, the Kirton and Trimley Community Action Group, is fighting this and the housing numbers, which it says are too high.

Consultation starts today and runs until February 25.

This consultation is designed to bring in comments in relation to the soundness of the plan and whether legal and procedural requirements have been met.

The council has arranged three drop-in sessions which are open to anyone to attend to find out more about the Final Draft Local Plan and how to respond.

These will be held at:

• Suffolk Coastal District Council, East Suffolk House (Deben Room), East Suffolk House, Station Road, Melton, IP12 1RT – Wednesday 30th January, 3pm – 7pm

• Felixstowe Town Hall (Council Chamber), Undercliff Road West, Felixstowe, IP11 2AG – Monday 4th February, 3pm – 7pm

• Saxmundham Market Hall, 29 High Street, Saxmundham, IP17 1AF – Wednesday 6th February 3pm – 7pm

The Final Draft Local Plan and supporting documents are available to view at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/finaldraftlocalplan.

People can respond via the online consultation system at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/finaldraftlocalplan or bia post or email.