Felixstowe cliff flats are a no-go

DEVELOPERS wanting to build massive blocks of flats on Felixstowe's clifftops have been told “two buildings are a no-go” and one reasonable-sized one might be acceptable.

DEVELOPERS wanting to build massive blocks of flats on Felixstowe's clifftops have been told “two buildings are a no-go” and one reasonable-sized one might be acceptable.

Planners have refused permission for Landro Ltd to build two blocks of apartments in Hamilton Gardens after 18 months of negotiations.

Despite the company reducing the number of flats from 62 to 47, and taking a storey off each block to make them six-storey and four-storeys high, councillors decided the development would be “very dominant and oppressive and visually intrusive” and people in Brownlow Road seriously effected.

The scheme had drawn objections from English Heritage and Felixstowe Town Council, plus around 84 letters from concerned residents.

The many concerns included the impact such huge buildings would have on Harvest House - a nationally-important listed building which was originally The Felix millionaires' hotel and is now converted to luxury retirement apartments.

Landro wanted to build the flats on the site of the Cliff House offices car park and Hamilton House office, which would be demolished.

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Suffolk Coastal's development control sub committee chairman Ivan Jowers said: “I feel there is only room for one block on that site to get all the car parking in which will be needed.

“Two buildings on that site are no-go and one reasonably-sized block might be accepted.”

Councillor Mary Dixon said the proposed flats were massive and would have an enormous impact on those living around them.

She could understand the benefits the extra homes would bring to the economy of the town centre, but the design of the property was unacceptable.

Felixstowe councillor Doreen Savage said it was an overdevelopment of the site and feared the suggested car parking arrangements would be unworkable, creating paramount problems in the area.

Despite assurances from consultants on behalf of the developers, she was still concerned about the stability of the cliffs and the prospect of an underground car park was alarming, especially as there had been cliff subsidence in front of the site last year.

Landro said its scheme had been redesigned in the light of planners' comments.

A spokesman for the firm stated: “The bulk and size of the two new buildings have been reduced to take on board previous comments and in conjunction with this we have specifically addressed the redesign of the exterior to reflect more accurately the character of the local surrounding area.”

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

Do you think its time to build on Cliff House car park? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

PANEL - Car parking:

NOT even a parking space for every flat - that was the prospect if the apartments on Felixstowe's clifftops had been approved.

With many people having two cars today, that would have left surrounding streets, particularly Hamilton Gardens, used by Spa Pavilion showgoers, permanently cluttered with cars.

But councillors were told 42 spaces for 47 flats was perfectly acceptable today. The government claims if you live in or close to a town centre, you will not own a car - and will use public transport, or cycle and walk everywhere.

The policy is aimed as discouraging car travel, but ignores the fact many people shop at out-of-town stores, commute to work, and need their car to take children to schools - often not the nearest if they have chosen an alternative - or for leisure.

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