Go-ahead due for homes and sports project despite objections
- Credit: Archant
Innovative proposals to transform a former high school site into a dynamic, modern housing and sports project are set to go ahead - despite dozens of objections.
Inadequate parking is one of the man concerns with only one space per property proposed, but planning chiefs say homeowners can park in a car park which is just under a mile walk there and back.
East Suffolk Council (ESC) has received more than 50 objections to the plans for the former Deben High School site in Garrison Lane, Felixstowe.
Felixstowe Town Council has also recommended refusal, as has the Felixstowe Society, which describes the proposals as overdevelopment, out of keeping with the character of the area with inadequate parking.
Residents' objections include overlooking, loss of privacy, parking and traffic fears, worries over unsociable behaviour, and concerns over the design and height of the buildings.
But ESC says the benefits of its plans for the site far outweigh the objections - including providing new community facilities and 69% of the homes as affordable.
The homes would be eco-friendly, energy efficient with reduced running costs to address the issue of fuel poverty and help towards climate change targets.
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The district council is seeking full permission for 45 apartments and maisonettes and 16 houses, conversion of the school's old assembly hall to provide a community space, with 61 residential car parking spaces, and 137 cycle parking spaces.
Outline consent is sought for a new indoor bowls complex in the old sports hall plus a cricket pitch with pavilion.
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The council's planning committee south is recommended to approve the plans on May 25.
Planning case officer Liz Beighton said 42 of the 61 homes would be affordable - more than twice the number set out in the council's policy. Of these 32 would be for rent and 10 shared ownership. Most homes would be one-bed and two-bed but there would be homes up to four-bed.
While the car parking was below the county standard, the aim is to create a pedestrian-friendly environment and encourage other modes of transport. Householders and their visitors with extra cars could park in Garrison Lane car park - almost a mile walk there and back.
Ms Beighton said: "The application is considered to be a dynamic, well considered proposal that will yield exemplary sustainable credentials, public open space and community uses and a high proportion of affordable housing on what is a brownfield site in a highly sustainable location.
"The reduction of parking levels is appropriate in this location given the strong desire to create a pedestrian friendly development with reduced conflict with cars.
"The comments from objectors are noted and understood. Whilst it is accepted there will be a change of relationship to those neighbouring residential properties, the impacts are not in the opinion of officers so significant as to warrant refusal of the planning permission is this instance. The significant benefits outweigh those limited objections received and lay in favour of granting planning permission."