Getting in a tizzy over eyesore site

Unattractive and unloved - the Garrison Lane junction corner in Felixstowe is set for a makeover.

Unattractive and unloved - the Garrison Lane junction corner in Felixstowe is set for a makeover. - Credit: Archant

WHEN – technically still if, as Suffolk Coastal has not yet given its seal of approval – the superstore at the railway station is built, Garrison Lane corner is to be tidied up.

As it was inthe 1950s - the Garrison Lane corner at Felixstowe with gardens and seats, but also adve

As it was inthe 1950s - the Garrison Lane corner at Felixstowe with gardens and seats, but also advertising hoardings. - Credit: Archant

Apparently there will be some public art – something we are sorely lacking in Felixstowe – plus seats and landscaping to create a nice feature, an open space where people can sit and watch the traffic lights change or rest as they journey home.

Now town councillors have given the 30,000 sq ft Sainsbury (so one very good source tells me) store the go-ahead, Suffolk Coastal, which already heavily favours development of the site at the railway station, is also bound to approve it.

But town councillors did get themselves into a bit of a tizzy about the Garrison Lane corner.

It all hinged on the design of a fence, made of sleepers and wooden panels, some of them coloured, at the rear of the site which was to be of a wavy design with highest points three metres high.

I’m no expert in design, but the councillors seemed to lose sight of the fact that the site is currently dominated – and has been since the 1950s – by a horrible six-metre high billboard and anything has got to better than that! Even removing it would vastly improve the site.

But I do agree with our elected representatives that we do need a high quality design as that area is one of the main gateways into the town – passed by thousands every day, including the many who come to enjoy the seafront. It’s an opportunity to clear up a site which has been an eyesore for years.

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Their decision to involve the community, especially schoolchildren, in the lay-out and design is to be applauded.

Let’s hope the idea for a piece of artwork doesn’t see us end up with a giant question mark or a madman swatting flies – those two strange pieces which adorn our county town.

I am assured by truckers that getting in and out of the entrance on Garrison Lane will pose no problems and no need to swing across the carriageway, and councillor Jon Garfield’s idea of a stop-go light connected to the pedestrian crossing at the lights is an excellent idea.