December 13 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Secret discussions are taking place to see if a community should take over a new maritime park being built as part of a £25million development.
Felixstowe Town Council has been offered the chance to look after the park on the 17-acre south seafront site when it is completed.
Suffolk Coastal council – which is masterminding the project with its development partner Bloor Homes – has sent the town council a proposal to consider.
Council leader Ray Herring said he was keen to see the town take over the park.
Although neither the district or town council has revealed any details of the proposals, it is understood the scheme involves cash to maintain the site for a period of time, land for a possible cafe, and the management of the park, including deciding any future changes or provision in recreation facilities.
Suffolk Coastal has already put aside a sum of money for the next decade for maintenance of the public space.
However, the town council’s dilemma is whether the amount will be enough or whether it might be forced to raise its council tax in time to pay for the upkeep.
The other option would be to draw on its community fund, set up to provide cash for facilities Suffolk Coastal may no longer provide or other needs in the town.
Press and public were excluded as the town council debated their next move.
Andy Smith, chairman of the town council plans committee, said the council had not rejected the idea of taking over the park.
He said: “We have set up a confidential working party to go into all the detail of the offer.”
The town council has been critical of the proposals for the maritime park, claiming revisions to the design have left it without a “wow factor”.
The development will include 127 homes, car parking, with a park aimed at families and including play areas, water features, and picnic areas.