First look at plans for homes and sports hub at former school site

How the new homes at the old Deben High School site in Felixstowe could look - from the cricket field at the rear of the deve...

How the new homes at the old Deben High School site in Felixstowe could look - from the cricket field at the rear of the development Picture: TATEHINDLE ARCHITECTS. - Credit: Archant

First artists’ impressions have been released showing how the transformation of one of Felixstowe’s oldest schools into homes and a sports hub could look.

The Lower School Assembly Hall at Deben High would be kept but the rest of the school would be demolished and redeveloped wit...

The Lower School Assembly Hall at Deben High would be kept but the rest of the school would be demolished and redeveloped with new homes TATEHINDLE ARCHITECTS. - Credit: Archant

The project will see the 10-acre site of the former Deben High School turned into 61 homes – with 69% of them affordable propertes – plus a home for one of the town’s cricket clubs and also Felixstowe Indoor Bowls Club.

Consultation on the scheme gets under way tomorrow (December 7) with East Suffolk Council urging people to have their say before a planning application is submitted.

Council leader Steve Gallant said: “We are committed to increasing leisure opportunities and improving the housing mix in Felixstowe, so this is an exciting scheme for the council and for the town as it will help us to fulfil our ambitions on these two important fronts.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the consultation where they can view the exciting plans for the scheme, which showcases how the council plan to transform this disused brownfield site into a sustainable housing and leisure development for Felixstowe.”

View down the mews street of the proposed transformation of the Deben High School site in Garrison Lane, Felixstowe Picture: ...

View down the mews street of the proposed transformation of the Deben High School site in Garrison Lane, Felixstowe Picture: TATEHINDLE ARCHITECTS. - Credit: Archant


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Redevelopment proposals involve demolition of most of the old school to be replaced with new housing – with 32 affordable rented, 10 shared ownership and 19 open market homes.

Proposed designs for the homes meet the changing needs of modern living, with the majority being south-facing to help reduce energy bills, and will have home-working or office spaces as well as access to outside space either in the form of rear gardens, communal gardens or balconies.

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Green spaces have been designed to connect the development to the surrounding community, with walking links proposed to the park at Valley Walk. The former Lower School Assembly Hall will be retained as a community space, with the striking clock tower visible from Garrison Lane.

Consultation takes place online from noon December 7 until noon December 14. During this time, people can view the proposed plans at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk and email comments to leisure@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Deben High School Picture: JERRY TURNER

Deben High School Picture: JERRY TURNER - Credit: Archant

Once the consultation has closed, the proposals will still be available online and further comments can be made through the formal planning route once the planning application has been submitted.

Heritage archive

The heritage of Deben High will be remembered and preserved in the town’s archive after East Suffolk Council donated key items from the site.

The council has been working closely with the Felixstowe Society to ensure that key pieces which hold many special memories for the local community are saved for the Felixstowe Secondary School’s Archive before the demolition.

The items identified are mainly from the original Grammar School building and include the wooden front doors, which will match the special commemorative key held by the society, corridor signage and masonry. The council is also working with the society to create a final photographic library before the work starts.

Jean Macpherson, from the Felixstowe Society, said: “We are really pleased that East Suffolk Council has donated these items to the town’s archive, so we can preserve these special memories for many years to come.

“We have had many requests for final tours of the site before work starts, but unfortunately this is not possible due to health and safety restrictions. We hope that the photographic library we are currently working on with the council will be a positive way for those interested to have a final ‘virtual tour’ of the site.”

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