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Fight steps up against new homes

PUBLISHED: 21:00 19 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 March 2010

FAMILIES campaigning against moves to build houses and a new tourist attraction opposite their seafront homes are stepping up their fight - and putting together a dossier of protests.

FAMILIES campaigning against moves to build houses and a new tourist attraction opposite their seafront homes are stepping up their fight – and putting together a dossier of protests.

Against Felixstowe Fat Cat Developer, the action group leading the battle, is assembling a huge amount of evidence on why the multi-million pound scheme should not go ahead.

Residents are also employing solicitors to fight their case and contacting MPs and Euro MPs to enlist their help.

Now the action group has invited councillor David Smith, the Suffolk Coastal cabinet member responsible for the project, to meet it and take part in a question and answer session.

Group chairman Barney Thirkettle has assured Mr Smith that the objectors want to "communicate, not humiliate" and questions will be submitted in advance so that he is not put on the spot.

The meeting will take place at Manor Terrace on Sunday June 23.

Opposition to the scheme is growing daily, with residents and beach hut owners in the area against it – while the council is keen to ensure that it all goes through before next year's local elections.

The council is proposing to enter into a partnership with Bloor Homes to develop the 17 acre south seafront site – which stretches from Orford Road to Manor terrace – to regenerate the resort.

But critics have questioned how a couple of new play areas, a timber galleon, gardens, and an amphitheatre which the council does not seem keen to run as a venue, will regenerate the area.

There has also been widespread concern that the developers will be allowed to build a minimum of 175 homes, which could net them a profit of perhaps £30 million with very little in return for the public.

The homes will also block sea views which properties have enjoyed for a century, to provide sea views for the new residents.

Against Felixstowe Fat Cat Developer is investigating a number of issues and carrying out research into car parking needs of the area, gathering evidence of flooding which dispels the assumption that the site will be affected only once in 200 years, and assembling information about predicted sea level rises.

There is also concern about the status of a recently-discovered cold war bunker on the site, and efforts are being made to list the Herman de Stern to stop it from being demolished.

Suffolk Coastal says some residents would lose their sea views but the current design is only conceptual and would be altered to take into account the results of public consultation.

It has stressed that details published in the Local Plan had included the possibility of housing as part of the development.

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