Flats future for landmark cliff building

PROPOSALS for a £15million revamp of a prime clifftop site at Felixstowe have been praised for their “bold, imaginative and unashamedly contemporary design”.

Richard Cornwell

PROPOSALS for a £15million revamp of a prime clifftop site at Felixstowe have been praised for their “bold, imaginative and unashamedly contemporary design”.

But the upmarket scheme will not feature any affordable flats because it could put off potential buyers however the developers will be required to provide social housing elsewhere to compensate.

Councillors are due to meet tomorrow to decide the scheme for Hamilton Gardens, and are recommended to give officers power to approve it as long legal agreements over the affordable homes are agreed and other conditions are met.

Landro Ltd wants to carry out the scheme to convert Cliff House, a former Edwardian hotel but more recently used as offices, into 18 flats with two more complementing blocks of 37 flats built on the car park alongside and the site of Hamilton House, Cambridge Road, which would be demolished.

Of the 55 flats, 48 would be two-bedroom homes.

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Conversion of Cliff House will include putting back balconies removed when wrought iron was needed for the war effort.

A report to Suffolk Coastal District Council's south area development control sub committee said: “A bold, imaginative and unashamedly contemporary design is proposed for this new development, which is clearly intended to be of the very highest quality.

“Some concerns have been expressed by English Heritage and Inspire East about certain design elements of the scheme.

“These have been the subject of ongoing discussions and revised drawings are awaited, which it is understood will satisfactorily address those concerns.

“Officers believe the submitted package of proposals will enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, and could act as a catalyst for further high quality redevelopment schemes that would contribute to the council's wider regeneration objectives for the town.”

Legal agreements will provide the required affordable housing - the developers want to build 18 homes, the council says it should be 24 - off-site in conjunction with a housing association.

Landro said having the social housing on site would be “detrimental to the financial viability of the development”.

The council has received 45 letters objecting to the development, while the town council remains concerned about the stability of the cliff and underground springs, despite reassurances the area will not collapse.

Is it time to build on Cliff House car park? Let us know your views of the new plans - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk