Seafront development plans criticised
REVISED plans for the regeneration of derelict land in a seaside town have been heavily criticised by councillors.Felixstowe Town Council held a special meeting to discuss the proposals from Suffolk Coastal District Council and Bloor Homes for a 17.
By Richard Smith
REVISED plans for the regeneration of derelict land in a seaside town have been heavily criticised by councillors.
Felixstowe Town Council held a special meeting to discuss the proposals from Suffolk Coastal District Council and Bloor Homes for a 17.5-acre site on the town's south seafront.
They emphatically rejected the plans, with no-one voting in favour of them, but the final decision will rest with the district council.
Town councillors said they had no objection in principle to development - but numerous concerns they had highlighted in the first plan had not been addressed.
After the meeting Mike Ninnmey, a Felixstowe district councillor, said: “Town councillors felt that this scheme was worse than the previous one.
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“They had supported that one with about 16 considerations that they hoped the developer would incorporate.
'”But this revised scheme takes no notice of the recommendations of the town council and therefore they have withdrawn their support completely.”
The councillors were concerned that there were no firm proposals for the refurbishment of the Martello tower and that the amount of affordable homes had not been increased.
They said their recommendations about appropriate public transport, a safe cycle route and a legal agreement that proposed sea defences were maintained in perpetuity had not been met. They were also worried about the ability of a sewage plant to cope with the extra housing.
They wanted more toilets, beach showers, a water fountain, an emergency telephone and a larger café.
More than 500 people visited a three-day exhibition of the revised plans in October but Suffolk Coastal's planning department has not received many comments.
Rae Leighton, Suffolk Coastal cabinet member with responsibility for the south seafront, said: “There does seem to be more of a consensus that something must be done now once and for all with the site. “The revised plans offer a much-needed injection of leisure facilities and other services for residents and visitors alike, all funded by a modern, creative approach to the housing part of the scheme.”
The council could make a decision on the plans at a meeting in December. It says the revised proposals take into account the reasons for the rejection of the first scheme, including a reduction in the number of homes by a quarter.
The revised plans include more leisure, green space and play equipment, a refreshment kiosk, and toilets. There will also be 261 extra car-parking spaces and 158 homes - 51 fewer than previously proposed - mostly in three-storey terraces, with 16 homes of the same design available for rent from a housing association.