Unused boating lake makes way for car parking

The old boating lake at Felixstowe - it will be filled in and turned into car parking and an events

The old boating lake at Felixstowe - it will be filled in and turned into car parking and an events area. - Credit: Archant

One of Felixstowe’s oldest seafront attractions – and currently its biggest eyesore – will vanish this year if proposals for a makeover of its site are agreed this week.

The boating lake in Sea Road has been derelict for some time and efforts to sell the 3,120 sq m site alongside the prom failed.

Now owners Suffolk Coastal have drawn up plans for a combined multi-purpose area and the council’s planning committee is recommended to give the project the go-ahead on Thursday.

The scheme will see the yacht pond and old go-kart track alongside, which itself was once part of the lake when it was twice the size, filled in to create additional car parking for 36 cars, a grassed open area and a multi-purpose area for outdoor events such as Christmas markets, exhibitions and fairs.

The boating lake was created in the early part of the 20th Century and was enjoyed for many years by families sailing model boats, until this went out of fashion and it was used for ride-on watercraft, and later remodelled to reduce its size and create car parking and the go-kart area.

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It has come in for much criticism since it fell into disuse and councillors have been pressing for redevelopment, which has been delayed as it had been expected to be used as a building compound for contractors working on the new pier.

Planning officers said the project to revamp the area had received no objections and was a long-held aspiration for the town and district councils.

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Case officer Liz Beighton said: “The current application proposes additional car parking alongside an open area which could be used in a variety of ways by a variety of people and organisations.

“Although these uses are not specifically formal gardens or targeted at children’s activities the proposals provide a space which can be used in a flexible way which will be of benefit to the Felixstowe promenade.

“Despite the loss of the boating lake and kart track, the current proposals will provide a more attractive area in a location which is very popular and well used by Felixstowe’s residents and visitors.

“The application as presented will represent a visual enhancement of a current derelict and underused site.”

If the scheme is approved, contractors are expected to be appointed with work taking place this year.

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