Felixstowe: Residents’ anger over revised homes proposal

RESIDENTS were left dismayed after being told a farm field they are fighting to keep could be used for 200 new homes – far more than expected.

Optima Land and Property and JCN Design showed off their latest proposals for the site off Ferry Road, Old Felixstowe, at an exhibition.

The plans include allotments, public open space, plus cash contributions for more school places, work to ease school-time congestion on the roads, and for improvements to the area.

Michael Smith, from JCN Design, said: “We are still at an early stage and talking about the principle of residential development of the site.”

Despite that, it is hoped a planning application will be submitted later in the year and work can begin at the end of 2013 with completion by 2017.

The companies said they had taken account of the feedback received at the last exhibition – when 130 to 170 homes were proposed – to make changes to the proposals to make them more acceptable to residents of the surrounding area, including altering the lay-out, removing three-storey buildings and creating a mix of densities.

One third of the properties would be affordable homes for rent or shared ownership.

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Talks had also been held with the utility companies and both Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk County Council.

Last time, 81 per cent of residents were against the plans – with the main concerns extra traffic, no need for more homes, too many homes, Ferry Road inadequate to take extra vehicles, impact on the countryside, and loss of agricultural land.

Resident Christopher Cushing, of Colneis Road, was not impressed with the new plans.

“It seems that the amendments we have been shown today have taken no account of the major concern stated last time, which was the safety, environmental and road effects of the increase in traffic from the housing – and now we hear there could be 200 homes,” he said.