Seafront residents vow to seek £100k compensation if café is given go-ahead
- Credit: Plaice Design Co
They claim the new attraction will blight their homes – and say they were not told about the plans when they bought the properties.
Community leaders and planning officers though say the project has been on every masterplan for Felixstowe’s south seafront for nine years.
Suffolk Coastal council has applied for planning permission for the new 400 sq m semi-circular modern design café to be built in Martello Park between the promenade and Manor Terrace.
It would be sited at the Orford Road entrance to the beachside park, which also includes play areas for all ages, picnic areas and a Martello Tower which is to be turned into an attraction in the future.
It would include a café/restaurant with a meeting space and exhibition area together with an external terrace and open 8am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 10pm on Sunday. It would create five full-time and eight part-time jobs.
However, some residents in the surrounding 127 new homes are unhappy and the district council said it had received 15 letters of objection, including some threatening legal action.
One couple said: “We will have no option but to consider legal action against the developers/council if this is passed due to the anticipated reduction of our property’s value, which we estimate to be in the region of £100,000.
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“Indeed when the Martello Park development was approved, part of our contribution to the purchase of the property was earmarked for the general rehabilitation of Felixstowe, not the development of another unwanted café.”
Other concerns include potential loss of privacy, noise, litter, vandalism, extra traffic, loss of parking, size and scale too great, and gardens would be preferable.
Some objectors have also voiced worries about the impact on the Martello Tower, but Historic England says it is happy that the application does not significantly propose to alter the location of the café to that which was earmarked in the masterplan.
The organisation said: “Although this location is within the setting of the monument as noted in the application, we accept that the recent development has already significantly changed the setting of the monument.”
Case officer Liz Beighton said the development of a café/restaurant has been accepted in principle since the first planning approval in 2009 and then again in the implemented
She said: “It is accepted that the proposed development will result in a change in relationship to those properties, but change is not necessary unacceptable and it is the significance of those impacts which need to be appropriately assessed.
“The proposal will add substantially to the regeneration of this part of Felixstowe seafront which requires public investment for economic growth. It will help to make
Felixstowe a more attractive destination and significantly add to the resort’s visitor economy.
“This is the final element of the 2012 approval of the development and will seek to complete the wider development as originally envisaged.
“Whilst it is noted that there will be a change of relationship to existing properties, this was always planned for and the impacts associated are not significant enough to warrant refusal of permission and are outweighed by the benefits that would ensue, including the economic, tourism and community benefits.”