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Developers eye up Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 22:00 05 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

LANDOWNERS at Felixstowe are today hoping the finger of fortune will point at their sites as planners search for a place to build 1,000 new homes.

Over the next few months council officers will explore several options before earmarking a site, or perhaps several parcels of land, for future housing.

LANDOWNERS at Felixstowe are today hoping the finger of fortune will point at their sites as planners search for a place to build 1,000 new homes.

Over the next few months council officers will explore several options before earmarking a site, or perhaps several parcels of land, for future housing.

That will cause prices to rocket - giving one lucky landowner a site worth tens of millions of pounds.

Residents who do not want new homes on their doorsteps and want to preserve their countryside views and open spaces are already gearing up to oppose sites.

Depending on density and the allocation of open space for leisure, probably around 55 acres needs to be found - much less than many landowners had hoped would be needed.

Councillors have ruled out major development in the Trimley villages - though Trinity College is likely to pursue its major project at a public inquiry - and seem to have set their sights on Felixstowe.

The main sites under consideration are:

n Land in Old Felixstowe between Estuary Drive and Ferry Road;

n Fields on either side of Walton High Street - one alongside Hawkes Lane and bounded by the dock spur road, the other at the rear of Treetops and bounded by Walton by-pass;

n Farmland between Upperfield Drive and Gulpher Road next to Eastward Ho;

n Land to the north of the dock spur roundabout suggested by the town council.

Apart from the Walton fields, the other sites would all take the town into open countryside, which councillors have resisted over the past 20 years.

But development of the Walton fields would not be without controversy - villagers in Trimley St Mary see them as vital to keeping their community separate from urban Felixstowe.

Residents in the Ferry Road area are also already very angry at suggestions that fields near them could be taken for homes.

The biggest suggested site is in the Gulpher Road area and has been put forward by Acorus Rural Property Services Ltd on behalf of three landowners.

Suffolk Coastal officers refuse to say yet which site will be chosen but will carefully assess each. One of their main aims is to see how it would fit in with existing development, whether schools in the area could cope or if they could be expanded, and what other services will be needed.

Planning officer Stephen Brown said the proposed port development and a housing needs survey had shown there was a case for an allocation of housing land at Felixstowe.

But director of development and community services Jeremy Schofield said 1,000 homes was not a large enough settlement to stand alone and support its own services. Rendlesham was currently having 1,200 homes built and was only on the margins for needing a new school.

n Where would you prefer to see 1,000 homes built in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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