School site housing and leisure plans generate dozens of objections
- Credit: TATEHINDLE ARCHITECTS
Proposals to transform a former high school site into new housing and a sports hub have generated dozens of objections - with neighbours labelling the project an "overdevelopment".
People living around the old Deben High School at Felixstowe say the scheme will dominate the area, and there will be loss of privacy due to overlooking, and a severe lack of car parking.
Both Felixstowe Town Council and conservation group the Felixstowe Society are calling for the plans to be rejected.
East Suffolk Council has lodged the proposals for the redundant 10-acre school site in Garrison Lane, to be transformed with 45 apartments and 16 houses.
The school's original assembly hall would be converted into a community space, and its sports hall into a new home for Felixstowe Indoor Bowls Club, while the playing fields would be converted into a cricket hub with a new pavilion.
There will be 61 parking spaces for the 61 homes, plus 137 bike racks. The number of parking spaces is below parking standards and residents fear it will lead to parking in surrounding streets and even on busy Garrison Lane.
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Felixstowe Town Council welcomes the overall concept and principle of development for the site but says "certain aspects are of great concern" and is particularly concerned about height, massing, and intrusion with an increase in overlooking of homes around the land.
The Felixstowe Society calls the design a "stark housing block" that is "wholly out of keeping" with the character of the area, an overdevelopment of the site with inadequate parking.
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East Suffolk Council planned to begin demolition of the old Deben High buildings this spring with work on the new homes starting in the autumn.
It says the new homes would be built to Passivhaus standards, compromising 32 affordable rented, 10 shared ownership and 19 open market homes, which equates to a 69% affordable homes contribution.
The homes would be eco-friendly, energy efficient with reduced running costs to address the issue of fuel poverty and help towards climate change targets.
The council, which has already increased the number of parking spaces from 46 to 61 following residents' concerns, said the site was close to bus routes, and a 10-minute walk to the rail station and town centre and the design encouraged walking and cycling.
Architects Tatehindle, on behalf of the council, said: "As around 20% of residents in urban areas do not own cars, the site is close to amenities and an ideal location to reduce car usage."