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Lack of masterplan for 2,000-home project leads to objections

PUBLISHED: 06:02 26 April 2020

Exhibition showing plans for 560 homes, shops, care and community facilities to be built on countryside in Gulpher Road on the edge of Felixstowe - Persimmon now plan to build the first 262 homes Picture: GREGG BROWN

Exhibition showing plans for 560 homes, shops, care and community facilities to be built on countryside in Gulpher Road on the edge of Felixstowe - Persimmon now plan to build the first 262 homes Picture: GREGG BROWN

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Developers Persimmon Homes are keen to push ahead with their project before a blueprint is agreed – claiming it can be the first phase of the major development.

The Gulpher Road area of Felixstow is under threat Picture: RICHARD CORNWELLThe Gulpher Road area of Felixstow is under threat Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

Fair Play for Felixstowe, which represents more than 280 residents living near the land, which stretches from the Eastward Ho playing fields behind Links Avenue to the A14 Dock Spur roundabout, says a masterplan is essential.

Group spokeswoman Gill Mason said: “Should Persimmon Homes be allowed to push this application through before the Local Area Plan is published? This site is totally central to the proposed East Suffolk Council ‘garden neighbourhood’ concept and, if not properly co-ordinated, will inevitably destroy any chance of a coherent master plan for the area.

“Current and future residents of Felixstowe will be left to bear the consequences in perpetuity.”

The group, one of a number of organisations and indiviudals objecting to the Persimmon plans, called for the district council to defer the application for 262 homes until the Covid-19 crisis is over and the Planning Inspectorate’s report into the resort’s future is published “and the way forwards is clearer”.

Persimmon has permission for 560 homes, community centre, extra care/assisted living facility, play areas, village green, shops and employment centre off Gulpher Road, Felixstowe Picture: EAST SUFFOLK COUNCILPersimmon has permission for 560 homes, community centre, extra care/assisted living facility, play areas, village green, shops and employment centre off Gulpher Road, Felixstowe Picture: EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

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Felixstowe Town Council has also objected, voicing a series of concerns over open space, renewable energy, drainage and rights of way.

Suffolk Highways has also issued a holding objection until a number of matters, including cycle links to the town, are settled.

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, small businesses and a former golf driving range – is currently in several different ownerships and the council is keen to draw them together to agree the release of the land and a co-ordinated development.

Persimmon said: “The emerging policy requirement for a combined masterplan to cover the entire allocation is not addressed by this reserved matters application. The reserved matters application does not in any way prejudice the ability for a combined masterplan to come forward in the future, and does not prejudice the ability of the emerging policy’s ambitions to be realised.”

Persimmon said its plans already included the site for a school, open space and rights of way, care home, sites for small business units, community centre/retail and the first phase of the residential element.

It said: “The reserved matters application can be considered as the first phase of the delivery of the North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood. Future phases of the outline consent, can have regard relevant to the masterplan if it has been developed to a stage when it can be given weight.”


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