Glass lift idea for seafront hillside
IF Felixstowe gets a much-needed lift to link its seafront and the town centre on the clifftops, it will not be a cable-car or a funicular.Town councillors are definitely backing the idea of a link – but their idea of how it could be created is much more metropolitan and hi-tech.
By Richard Cornwell
IF Felixstowe gets a much-needed lift to link its seafront and the town centre on the clifftops, it will not be a cable-car or a funicular.
Town councillors are definitely backing the idea of a link – but their idea of how it could be
created is much more metropolitan and hi-tech.
Councillor Andy Smith said what was envisaged was a glass elevator, which would be attached to the outside of a building which would stretch from the ground to the top of the cliffs in Wolsey Gardens.
People using the lift would have a 180-degree panoramic view of the seafront as they went up and down, making it a fun attraction as well as a desperately-needed facility to help people, especially the elderly, beat the resort's steep hills.
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"We are not thinking about a funicular lift or railway, our objective is to have a hi-tech lift," said Mr Smith, chairman of the town plans committee.
"It would be a lift on the outside of the building, like those of some major office blocks in London.
"Access at the top could be through some sort of roof garden, then into the lift and down to the ground with a marvellous panoramic view of the seafront on the way down.
"It would be an added attraction for what we hope would be a
significant and prestigious development of the Convalescent Hill site and be a great benefit to the public as well."
Planners have been asked to consider the lift project as a
"planning gain" if a developer can be found to build a major housing and leisure project on the Convalescent car park off Undercliff Road West.
Suffolk Coastal has not set a date for developing the car park but is looking at what might be built on the land. Town councillors want it developed urgently because of the resort's housing crisis.
In addition to the lift,
councillors would like to see the development feature leisure uses such as shops or cafes on the ground floor, but not amusement arcades, and possibly an underground public car park. Above the leisure uses, sweeping up Convalescent Hill and possibly on Wolsey Gardens, there should be a high-quality housing development of homes and apartments.
Campaigners have long wanted a lift to ensure visitors could use both the seafront and town centre shops. It was thought a cable-car operated by a pulley system would be the best option, though it was likely to cost £1million.