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Battle being won on seafront issues

PUBLISHED: 21:15 13 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 March 2010

DEVELOPERS behind a controversial multi-million pound project for Felixstowe seafront believe they are winning the battle to persuade the public that it will regenerate the resort.

DEVELOPERS behind a controversial multi-million pound project for Felixstowe seafront believe they are winning the battle to persuade the public that it will regenerate the resort.

Councillors claimed today that the majority of the 400-plus people who attended a two-day exhibition to see the latest plans had given the scheme the thumbs up.

They accept that there are still those to convince, but firmly believe it is a minority, mostly those who live closest to the 17-acre south seafront site.

"I would say there was a favourable response from the vast majority of those who attended, although there are still some concerns being raised by a minority," said David Smith, Suffolk Coastal cabinet member leading the project.

"Most people seemed to be in favour of what was on show, and I was particularly pleased to note that there seemed to be increased support from residents of Langer Road and Orford Road, as well as beach hut owners and local resort operators.

"There appears to be a genuine recognition that something must be done with the site, and that the designs have been changed since they went on display in May to take account of what people have said to us and Bloor Homes.

"We are still listening, and hope to take on board some of the points made at the exhibition.

"This scheme is vital to the long-term future of Felixstowe as a resort. We want to provide this piece of wasteland with a bright new look but Suffolk Coastal and Bloor Homes want to make sure it is done right."

The main concerns are from residents in Manor Terrace who are unhappy there will be some loss of sea views because of the development.

"It is totally understandable for people to feel unhappy about something that is being built next to where they live but Bloor Homes and Suffolk Coastal have tried, I believe successfully, to lessen the effects of this proposed development which overall will be a major boost to the town," added Mr Smith.

The council has listened to views and made changes – including alterations to the homes in Manor Terrace, the inclusion of beach huts, extra parking, and changes to the proposed restaurant after residents nearby sent in a petition.

The project includes an ampitheatre, gardens, wooden galleon, children's play areas, beach café, cycle route, and sculptures.

There will be 189 homes – 45 of them houses and 20 for social needs – instead of 175. They will range from one-bed apartments to four-bed houses.

The final plans from Bloor Homes are expected next month. There will then be formal consultation and the council hopes to make a final decision by the end of April, just before the elections.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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