Even more homes on the way – now that’s a safe bet

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- Credit: citizenside.com

AFTER a long and often bad-tempered battle against proposals for a huge house building programme in the Felixstowe area, campaigners are now licking their wounds.

The government’s independent inspector Mike Moore has decided the Suffolk Coastal area should have 7,900 extra homes over the next 15 years.

Current plans show about 1,800 of these will be built in Felixstowe and the Trimleys.

However, with a review of the proposals set to start before 2015, you could rush down to Ladbrokes and place a hefty bet on the Felixstowe area being landed with considerably more houses than the projected number.

After all, 7,900 is more homes than the council was initially intending to sanction – and if it is to, in the authority’s words, “protect the unique and treasured environmental and historic quality of the area”, those homes will not be built in villages and countryside.

The government believes Suffolk Coastal should have 11,000 new homes.

With 2,000 set to go at BT Martlesham, the pressure will be on the Felixstowe peninsula to take even more.

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Pessimists say – and landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, have already illustrated – that every field in Walton and the Trimleys between the A14 and Ipswich-Felixstowe railway line could be lost for housing.

Whether that will happen depends on the outcome of the “action plan” to be drawn up for the area, which will identify uses for the land.

Although this is supposed to be under way, there is precious little evidence of it so far.

By the time it appears, we will have a new health centre, nearly 400 homes on fields in Walton, possibly three superstores, 66 homes on Trimley Mushroom Farm, and perhaps another 100 off The Josselyns. There will be few major decisions to make.

Will there be extra jobs to justify these homes and support the people living in them? Don’t hold your breath.

The port is not expected to expand again for some time and Felixstowe has repeatedly failed to attract new businesses to previously identified employment sites, leaving more people to travel up and down the already busy A14 every day.

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