Call for masterplan and consultation on 2,000-homes project

The Gulpher Road area of Felixstowe Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

The Gulpher Road area of Felixstowe - Credit: RICHARD CORNWELL

Calls have been made for consultation on a masterplan for a 2,000-home garden suburb set to be built on the edge of a Suffolk town.

But - despite the promise in the new local plan - no masterplan yet exists and talks with landowners are in their earliest stages.

East Suffolk Council wants the 350-acre North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood (NFGN) to be created on land stretching from the A14 Dock Spur roundabout to Eastward Ho.

As well as 2,000 homes, the ‘garden neighbourhood’ will include a new £20million sports complex, community hub and 630-place primary school off Candlet and Gulpher Roads.

The land – mostly farmland but including an equestrian area, businesses and former golf driving range – is currently in several ownerships.

Felixstowe town councillor Andy Smith said the local plan agreed seven months ago said that a masterplan would be produced and public consultation would take place.

The plans says: "This new development will be delivered through a masterplan approach brought forward through landowner collaboration and community engagement."

Mr Smith said it was important that a process was entered into like that for the BT Adastral Park development.

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He said: "The undertaking in the local plan is not to act on some blobs which were shown in the plan as indicative but there are three or four phrases about consultation on the masterplan.

"Now, I think we have heard nothing about that, so why is that and when will that happen, so the masterplan is subject to proper public consultation with options and is not presented at some point as a fait accompli in its entirety or, what appears to be happening, as a series of fragments which will not be masterplan."

Some 2,000 homes are set to be built off Gulpher Road in Felixstowe as part of a new garden neighbourhood

Some 2,000 homes are set to be built off Gulpher Road in Felixstowe as part of a new 'garden neighbourhood - Credit: PHIL MORLEY

Leader of East Suffolk Council Steve Gallant said a masterplan will form part of the planning process going forward and discussions were now taking place with landowners to understand their views and ideas for the future of their land.

He said: "Once those decisions have been made by the landowners then you will be in a position to produce a masterplan and that masterplan will take into consideration what each individual landowner's ambitions are and that can then be put together, presented and go out to a consultation."

The first phase of the project will see 560 homes built by Persimmon Homes under a separate planning consent and this could be completed by 2024.

East Suffolk Council is keen to draw together the rest of the project, to agree release of the land in phases for a co-ordinated scheme. This work is still taking place.

Along with 1,600 other new homes being built, it will mean a 30% increase in the resort’s population.