Anger over new development
STRONG objections were made today to moves to build on the last "green lung" in the heart of a town which is desperate for more housing.Felixstowe, which has built up to its boundaries, has a huge shortage of affordable homes for young families wanting to get on the housing ladder.
STRONG objections were made today to moves to build on the last "green lung" in the heart of a town which is desperate for more housing.
Felixstowe, which has built up to its boundaries, has a huge shortage of affordable homes for young families wanting to get on the housing ladder.
The Sisters of Jesus and Mary have submitted an outline application to build nearly 70 flats and houses on their former school playing fields behind the convent in Orwell Road.
But town councillors believe the three-acre site is too precious to lose and is a vital open space.
They would love to see it kept as parkland for the community and are asking Suffolk Coastal council to refuse planning permission because of a development's impact on neighbours, road safety and open space issues.
However, if it is decided that homes should be built on the site, the town council would want to see a low density, no flats, a similar style of homes to those surrounding the site, adequate parking, and trees protected.
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The land was previously granted permission for 30 homes in 1985, despite protests from more than 80 residents.
But this consent has since lapsed and planning policies have changed - some would protect the land from development, but others would encourage its use.
Councillor Ann Rodwell said the land, reached by Tower Road, was important to the area's character and should be kept as open space and used as parkland.
"I think the traffic problems in that area also make the site unsuitable. There is a nursery school at the convent and cars exiting from Tower Road do so at their peril at times," she said.
"When there is a funeral or wedding at St John's Church, vehicles are parked all the way down to Garrison Lane. I don't consider that road is adequate.
"I don't think this site should be developed and we should preserve it and use it as parkland."
Councillors Cyril Webb and Doreen Savage agreed that in an ideal world the land would be kept as it is, but felt the council would be "on a hiding to nothing" if it simply went for refusal.
They persuaded the committee to agree conditions it would like to see imposed if the district council decided to allow homes so the council would have its views taken into account.
n Do you think homes should be built? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk