Felixstowe: Development of seaside resort receives town council backing

FELIXSTOWE: Despite residents’ protests over proposals to build nearly 1,800 new homes in the next 15 years, community leaders last night agreed to press ahead with development of the town.

However, no conclusion was reached over the number of properties which might be built – with town councillors stressing that market forces would be the key to when, and if, many of the potential projects are built.

Felixstowe Town Council accepted the need for housing, but said it should be of appropriate variety, including affordable homes, to meet the needs of the resort. Brownfield sites would be used first and additional infrastructure – such as community, medical and recreational services, and especially road improvements – must be provided.

Gill Mason, of Save Felixstowe Countryside, said the number of new homes being proposed by Suffolk Coastal for the town was “disproportionate and unnecessary”, while Ian Cowan, of Save Trimley Against Growth, said the housing should be distributed across the district according to every community’s needs.

Councillor Graham Newman said it was essential a formal plan for new homes was put in place to prevent unwanted developments being given the go-ahead.

“This plan is not a guarantee that anything will necessarily be built – various plans have been proposed in the last five years and nothing has yet been built,” he said.

“There will be no development by anybody unless there is a market to buy the houses.”

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Deputy mayor Doreen Savage said: “We need younger people and families in this town and to encourage this we need houses of the right type and price.”

Andy Smith, chairman of the town plans committee, said claims that the district council was planning to reduce the amount of affordable housing were spurious and the policy would remain one-in-three social homes in developments of more than six properties in urban areas.

Speaking to those against homes, he said: “Do we want new businesses? Do we want youngsters? Do we want a thriving and prosperous town? Throughout the last century Felixstowe expanded – virtually every one of us has a house that used to be on someone’s field and someone’s view. How selfish can you be – what about the next generation?”

But former mayor Mike Deacon felt the scale of development too great, would put infrastructure under strain, cause more traffic congestion, and ultimately destroy cherished countryside.

? How many homes do you think Felixstowe needs? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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