Felixstowe: No extra homes for Bartlet

Heritage bosses have ruled out building even more homes in the grounds of Felixstowe’s old Bartlet Hospital – because it could wreck the setting of such an historic building.

The former convalescent home – said to be in the top eight per cent of Britain’s most important properties – is set to be converted to 19 apartments, its annexe to nine town houses and flats, plus a terrace of three new town houses.

Councillors suggested the site overlooking the seafront from Bath Hill could be suitable for even more homes to help with the costs of the project and generate long-term funds for its maintenance.

The scheme is set to be given the go-ahead on March 1, but planning officers say there will not be more development than is on the table, and also no affordable homes, no extra parking, and no money for more play space because otherwise the project will not be viable.

In a letter to Suffolk Coastal District Council, English Heritage voiced its opposition to extra building.

“We consider further development on the site would harm the significance of the listed building and should not be supported,” said the heritage body.

“The issue of further development in the grounds has been carefully considered during very extensive pre-application discussions with officers, the applicant and English Heritage, and weighed in the balance with perhaps less intensive sub-division of the main building. This has been reviewed again in discussions with the applicant and English Heritage.

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“The intensification of the existing proposed new build and the provision of further car parking within the site could only be achieved by extending into the landscaped gardens, or losing significant trees, which again would detract from the character and setting of the historic assets.”

Council officers say NHS Suffolk have confirmed their intention to reinvest the proceeds of the Bartlet sale in the Felixstowe Central Surgery project.

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