Calls for rejection of £15m regeneration

TWO conservation groups today called for the £15 million-plus scheme to regenerate southern Felixstowe to be rejected because the housing looks like "Soviet workers' apartments".

TWO conservation groups today called for the £15 million-plus scheme to regenerate southern Felixstowe to be rejected because the housing looks like "Soviet workers' apartments".

Councillors are set to decide the project to put homes along with some leisure attractions on the 17-acre south seafront on May 27, but they have been inundated with more than 200 objections from organisations and individuals.

Both the Felixstowe Society and Suffolk Preservation Society are among those who have condemned the proposals.

The Felixstowe Society "strongly opposes" the plans and said the 209 homes would be "too high and over-dominate the surrounding area".

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It is concerned about the density, insufficient affordable housing, the monolithic design of blocks of apartments, and the effect on views of the Martello Tower.

"We find this unacceptable, particularly as a previous application to erect a two-storey house in Manor Road had the effect on the view of the Martello Tower as one of the reasons for refusal," said the society.

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Leisure uses should be a major part of the proposals and the housing looked like "Soviet workers' apartments" or a high-density development in London, out of keeping with the Edwardian and Victorian character of the area.

The Suffolk Preservation Society has accused Suffolk Coastal and Bloor Homes of producing a development that contradicts the council's own planning policy.

It has urged the council in the "strongest possible terms" to refuse the plans and have a radical rethink.

Society director Richard Ward said: "The design is not modern or contemporary, is inappropriate, and in some cases out of scale with surrounding buildings. It is impossible to agree with the applicant's statement 'to formulate a scheme of the highest design quality creating a unique experience.'

"Only 10 per cent of the residential development is in the form of affordable housing and this is below the council's stated target of 40pc.

"This is a site/location where the level of affordable housing should be, if anything, above the target figure and not below it.

"If the council's policy and target is not complied with on this site it will establish a dangerous precedent for reduced affordable housing provision on other sites. It is noticeable that all the affordable housing is to be provided in one block/location rather than integrated into the whole development as best practice suggests. The creation of an affordable housing 'ghetto' is regrettable."

Suffolk Coastal planning officers are currently compiling a report to be put before the development control sub committee, which agreed to visit the site before deciding the scheme. The report's recommendation is not yet known.

n What do you think of the scheme for Felixstowe south seafront – are there too many homes and not enough leisure attractions? Is it a wasted opportunity? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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