Felixstowe: Fears voiced that resort could be made to take extra 2,000 homes if Adastral Park development at Martlesham is thrown out

Martlesham Heath and Adastral Park

Martlesham Heath and Adastral Park - Credit: Archant

Campaigners are seeking assurances that if a court backs a bid to stop 2,000 new homes at Martlesham, it will not mean the properties are built in the Felixstowe area instead.

Three of the country’s most senior judges will sit in the High Court to hear an appeal aimed at preventing the massive development at BT’s Adastral Park.

The court previously rejected a case brought by No Adastral New Town (NANT) and found in favour of Suffolk Coastal District Council.

The 2,000 homes destined for Martlesham are a key factor in the authority’s blueprint for the future growth of the district and the largest single housing allocation.

The district needs 7,900 new homes by 2027, including 1,760 in Felixstowe, 1,520 in market towns such as Framlingham, Leiston and Saxmundham, and 1,350 in villages.

STAG (Save Trimley Against Growth) fears the 2,000 Martlesham homes will have to be re-allocated to other communities – and fears the Felixstowe area, the district’s largest urban centre, would be the key target.

Ian Cowan, of STAG, has written to Suffolk Coastal chief executive Stephen Baker to say the prospect of extra homes in Felistowe or the Trimleys is “very disconcerting”.

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He said: “Therefore, will you confirm that under no circumstances will any of the 2,000 homes currently allocated to Martlesham Heath ever be re-allocated to areas round Felixstowe or the Trimley villages.”

Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal cabinet member for planning, said he was confident the plan would be able to successfully stand the scrutiny of the Appeal Court, as it had already been given the seal of approval by an independent planning inspector as well as a High Court judge.

He said: “However, this protracted process is now obviously leading to negative speculation, causing unnecessary concern and uncertainty among the wider community, which we would have hoped to avoid.

“What is particularly frustrating is that, until this legal action is resolved, this will inevitably cause further delay to our ability to implement the Local Plan and will put unnecessary pressures on the council when it is considering applications for housing developments across the district.”