Felixstowe: Exciting future for resort’s south seafront

IMAGES have been released showing how part of Felixstowe’s seafront could be transformed from a derelict wasteland into a smart, modern place to live and play.

The 17-acre south seafront – stretching from Orford Road, where the Herman de Stern building once stood, to the Manor Club – has been an eyesore for decades.

Various proposals have been put forward to develop it, but at long last it seems a start will be made.

Opposition to development has all but faded away with long-held dreams of a major leisure or holiday scheme now consigned to the past and a feeling that it would be better to build than see it sit idle for more years to come.

Bloor Homes has now submitted new plans to Suffolk Coastal District Council – and there have been some significant changes to those previously approved three years ago, but then put on hold because of the recession.

The proposal has a new layout based on the area’s original grid-road system, with the aim to use the 17 acres for 127 homes instead of 158, with the emphasis on family houses rather than luxury apartments. Thirteen will be affordable homes.

The seafront park will feature a series of different play areas, picnic places, a kickabout site and trim trails, with land also set aside for a seafront cafe.

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The Napoleonic Martello Tower will be set in a square area of green – much like its original setting when built – but its use is not yet finalised, possibly a heritage attraction, a gallery or restaurant.

Bloor Homes’ design statement said: “We have designed a scheme that will mature into its surroundings, have a strong streetscape and generous public realm to match up to the quality and character of Felixstowe.”

Felixstowe Town Council’s planning committee met on Wednesday and raised concerns about the scale of leisure provisions and parking for the Martello tower.

Despite asking Suffolk Coastal to look into their concerns, councillors said they were in favour of the development.

Suffolk Coastal councillors will make a site visit before they consider the proposals next month.