£6m golf club revamp boosted by sale of part of public clifftop car park
PUBLISHED: 08:32 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:32 30 January 2020
Opponents have voiced serious concerns over the proposed sale of part of a public car park to enable a golf club to create a new clubhouse and housing in a £6million project.
Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club says East Suffolk Council has agreed to sell it an area of the Clifflands car park in Cliff Road to help it create new state-of-the-art facilities for players and the public.
Golf club general manager David Spencer said the club already leased an area of the car park close to its site and the purchase equates to 8% more of the car park, an area which will be used for public facilities created as part of the development including a cafe and putting green.
But some opponents do not want to see more of the car park lost. They say the car park is well used, especially in summer when people are using their beach huts, the shore and clifftops, and Clifflands is also promoted by the council as the place to park and walk to Felixstowe Ferry, which has limited parking.
At busy times, people also park illegally along Cliff Road.
Resident Mike Kent said the sale raises "serious concerns" and his measurements showed it would amount to 17% of the car park, just over an acre, and the loss of up to 100 of the 600 parking spaces.
He said: "It is difficult to see how the loss of the sold land can be reconciled with the council's current policy objectives. Their Felixstowe Peninsula Action Plan 2017 says: 'Clifflands Car Park is to be retained and enhanced where possible to provide parking opportunities which encourage traffic away from Felixstowe Ferry.' Further, the council's current plans for car parking seek to generate maximum revenue, in particular to finance the introduction of civil parking enforcement."
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Mr Spencer said the car park was under-utilised for most of the year. The club was in talks with the council to open its parking facilities to the public on busy days when the club did not need them.
East Suffolk Council confirmed the sale of the land was agreed unanimously by cabinet on January 7 but as the matter was confidential it would not disclose the sale price.
A council spokesman said: "The district council was approached by Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club last year about releasing some land within the curtilage of Clifflands Car Park, however, no decisions were made at the time as no formal plans were available.
"Subsequently, proposed plans were submitted by the golf club to East Suffolk Council late last year, which was reviewed by cabinet on January 7. Cabinet agreed unanimously to the sale of the land as the proposed plans were considered to bring facilities to the area which would benefit both the local community and visitors alike.
"The potential impact on car parking on the site was also considered and cabinet were satisfied with the proposed plans, which confirmed that over half of the land forming the sale would continue to be used for car parking by the golf club. Separately, a planning application was submitted by the golf club on December 24 which will need to go through the usual planning process."
People have until February 7 to give their views on the golf club plans.
The scheme for the club's home at the junction of Ferry Road and Cliff Road would include a new clubhouse and a café, putting green, toilets and viewing platform open to the public.
Five homes will be built to fund the project - homes and clubhouse costing £6m in total - to provide "a functional, attractive and efficient clubhouse and facilities fit for the 21st century".
The redevelopment seeks to safeguard the club's medium/long term future now that the current facilities are no longer fit for purpose and at the end of their useful life.