Beach hut protest marches on
LAWYERS are being briefed, letters written, and protest petitions signed as residents and beach hut owners take up arms.They have vowed to fight tooth and nail to stop Suffolk Coastal developing Felixstowe's south seafront with a multi-million pound scheme which they say will not regenerate the resort and will squander its land.
LAWYERS are being briefed, letters written, and protest petitions signed as residents and beach hut owners take up arms.
They have vowed to fight tooth and nail to stop Suffolk Coastal developing Felixstowe's south seafront with a multi-million pound scheme which they say will not regenerate the resort and will squander its land.
It may all be futile against a council which has the power to give itself permission for its own project – and will do so against the public's wishes.
But former Conservative councillor and ex-mayor of Felixstowe, Tom Savage says residents are gearing up for a big fight and has criticised the Tories for pushing through the project.
"Where is the regeneration coming from? All that can be seen from the plans so far made public is a 17.5 acre site belonging to rate payers being squandered," said Mr Savage, who lives in Manor Terrace, opposite the site.
"It is intended that Bloor Homes will be given, free of charge, some 7.5 acres to build 188 houses and flats on, partly of prime land and partly on a very large flood plain. Some of these dwellings are to be three and four storeys high.
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"What does Felixstowe get in return for this gesture by the council on our behalf? In short, next to nothing in regard to leisure facilities and much needed car parking and other facilities."
Residents have not been impressed with the leisure facilities suggested and cannot see how gardens, sculptures, play area and an ampitheatre will attract visitors more than once – or all year round.
Mr Savage said the provision of 165 public car parking spaces was ridiculous when more people park on the derelict land now at weekends, and on sunny Sundays some 700 extra spaces are required.
"The only winner in this project appears to be Bloor Homes who it is estimated stand to make a profit of some £9 million if it all goes ahead – what do the other tax payers in the district think of that?" he added.
Edwina and Bob Rust are worried their home and the other 22 properties of Manor Terrace will be at risk if the site – a recognised soakaway, often flooded in winter when the waves overtop the sea walls – is built on.
"Eleven of these homes are occupied by retired persons, many of whom are elderly, some infirm and unable to stand up for their rights. These homes will be under severe risk of flooding once this soakaway land is covered in impervious concrete," said Mr Rust.
The council says expects a planning application next month and the only way the leisure elements can be paid for is by allowing the developer to build homes.