Demand for more say on new homes

CALLS were made today for the public to have a bigger say in where 1,700 new homes should be built at Felixstowe.Campaigners are upset that the meeting which will decide where the homes should be built will be held in Woodbridge Community Hall on July 28 during daytime when many residents will not be able to attend.

CALLS were made today for the public to have a bigger say in where 1,700 new homes should be built at Felixstowe.

Campaigners are upset that the meeting which will decide where the homes should be built will be held in Woodbridge Community Hall on July 28 during daytime when many residents will not be able to attend.

Now the Save Felixstowe Countryside group and Felixstowe Town Council are asking for democracy to be brought closer to home for the next round of consultation.

The council has agreed to ask Suffolk Coastal that when specific sites are identified - the district authority's “preferred option” for the homes - an exhibition should be held in the town, followed by public meetings at a time when the public can attend, and at a suitable venue to accommodate as large an audience as possible.

The proposal was put forward by mayor Mike Deacon and seconded by Mike Stokell.

A spokesman for the campaign group said no-one wanted a repeat of the March meeting at Walton Community Hall when 200 members of the public were locked out because the venue was too small.

Most Read

The group felt strongly that Felixstowe people should be allowed to be involved in the debate.

“Save Felixstowe Countryside thanks Felixstowe Town Council for their support in this respect, and hopes that the Local Development Framework Task Group will take on board that the people of Felixstowe wish to be involved, and are entitled to be involved, in the debate concerning the future of their town,” he said.

“If they do comply, we would consider it a big step forward in the democratic process of determining where these homes will go.”

The group - which is leading the fight against building in the countryside north of Felixstowe, on the other side of the Candlet Road Walton bypass - was now writing to LDF chairman Andy Smith to reinforce the town council's view.

Suffolk Coastal officers are currently analysing the 2,400 responses to their “blobs on maps” consultation seeking views on what areas the homes should be built in.

Sites considered included land in Walton and the Trimley villages, as well as those in the countryside.

Extra homes are needed to regenerate the resort, provide homes for new workers for the port's expansion, and cater for those living longer, suffering family break-ups, youngsters leaving home and more people preferring to live alone.

Where should the new homes be built at Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk