Campaign to protect communities

WITH pressure to build thousands of new homes on the Felixstowe peninsula mounting every day, the Evening Star today launches a three-pronged campaign to protect our communities.

WITH pressure to build thousands of new homes on the Felixstowe peninsula mounting every day, the Evening Star today launches a three-pronged campaign to protect our communities.

Over the months ahead, we will be keeping a close eye on the areas which are facing the threat of major change - to make sure the people who live there have their views taken into account.

Our campaigns are:

Fight for the Trimleys

Fight for Felixstowe

Fight for Walton

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Under these banners we will be fighting for the rights of the community - and highlighting the issues each step of the way as the proposals for the future become clear.

But the aim is not necessarily to stop development - but to ensure it is appropriate and will not destroy the character of our communities and the places people love to live.

Everyone agrees there is a need for more homes, but that doesn't mean there is a need for thousands or even hundreds of homes.

And if those homes are to be built, they must not only be needed, but must be put in the right places and the infrastructure to support a growing population - leisure, community and medical facilities, roads, shops - must also be provided.

Each community has different issues and concerns.

The historic twin villages of Trimley St Mary and Trimley St Martin have known for three years that their fields could be taken for homes.

The villages, especially St Mary, are clinging on furiously to their rural character and any more major building will simply turn them into suburbs of Felixstowe.

Walton prides itself on its independence, but it too could lose its last fields, which separate it from the Trimleys. Here it is not just homes which are mooted, but the possibility of a busy enterprise park to provide hundreds of jobs away from the port.

Felixstowe is also facing new challenges. Not only does the town need homes to regenerate it, but also new attractions for residents and visitors, and work to smarten up the town centre and certain other sites around the resort.

It needs a renaissance - but it needs to be done right.

The timetable for change is sketchy but proposals being brought forward take the area up to 2021.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

www.trimley-st.martin.org.uk

www.trimley-st-mary.org.uk

What do you think about plans to develop Felixstowe, Walton and the Trimley villages? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FAST FACTS: Going for growth . . .

More than 3,400 new homes could be built at Felixstowe and the twin Trimley villages.

This will increase the housing stock by 26 per cent and could mean an increase in population of around 7,500 people.

The homes will be among 11,000 needed in Suffolk Coastal by 2021. There will also be 3,800 on the edge of Ipswich and others on sites across the district.

Planners have been told homes are needed because 8,000 new jobs are likely to be provided in the district - including more than 1,500 at Felixstowe port.

Consultants warned in the masterplan for Felixstowe's future that it needed 1,700 homes just to stand still because of falling birth rates, young people leaving, and smaller households.

The masterplan also suggested new attractions for Felixstowe, including Eden Project-style winter gardens on the seafront.

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