Campaigns join up to fight development

CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for 2,000 new homes in the Felixstowe area claim there is no need for so many houses and have retaliated to arguments put forward for development.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for 2,000 new homes in the Felixstowe area claim there is no need for so many houses and have retaliated to arguments put forward for development.

Save Trimley Against Growth (STAG) and Save Felixstowe Countryside have teamed up to oppose Suffolk Coastal's bid to put a huge chunk of the new housing to be built in the district on the Felixstowe peninsula and are calling on the council committee overseeing the plan to meet residents.

Council officials say the Felixstowe area needs at least 1,700 homes or its population will stand still - because divorce, people living longer, and more choosing to live alone means smaller households.

The number and type of homes in the town has not matched this demand.

Extra homes will be needed because of the jobs which will be created by port expansion; to cut down on commuting; and to help the town grow, save its schools, shops and leisure facilities from declining or closing, and enjoy a prosperous future.

They have chosen a going for growth option which will see around 2,000 homes - some of which already have planning consent - built and even more in the decade after.

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However, STAG and Save Felixstowe Countryside argue that far less homes are needed and Felixstowe's problems are no different to many of the market towns and villages of the district.

One argument is that large numbers of people commute to Felixstowe to work every day and these people could live at the resort if homes were available.

“If such a demand existed we would already have seen it in spiralling house prices,” said the campaign groups in a statement.

The groups claim the commute figures also include 1,400 from the Trimleys, while 1,600 people leave Felixstowe every day to work elsewhere.

“There is a specific requirement to build a set number of houses east of Ipswich and a general district-wide requirement,” said the groups.

“It is the district council who have decided that most of these houses should be built on greenfield land in the vicinity of Felixstowe and the Trimley villages.

“However, they have been happy to tell us that if they don't specify locations then locations will be determined by government inspectors. Possibly - and they may well not choose to target Felixstowe!”

Do you think 2,000 homes should be built in the Felixstowe area? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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PEOPLE have until February 20 to give their comments and a series of roadshows and exhibitions are taking place to help people understand the issues.

Deputy leader of Suffolk Coastal, Andy Smith said: “There are many other equally important issues addressed in the core strategy that people should also look at and comment upon, but it is probably housing that is the most emotive issue for residents.

“We are obliged by the government to set out how 7,710 new homes can be built between now and 2025 in this district. The good news is that over half of those homes can already be accounted for because of existing planning permissions or housing land.

“We are seeking to bridge the remaining gap by using undeveloped land east of Ipswich for 1,000 homes east of the A12 at Martlesham and Martlesham Heath, with about 1,600 homes around Felixstowe and the Trimleys.

“A further 870 new homes will need to be located on greenfield land in our other towns and villages.”

The strategy also sets out a hierarchy of all the district's towns and villages which takes account of their existing facilities and then puts then into a number of groups according to their suitability to accommodate extra homes.

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