Inquiry to decide on new homes

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to build 3,400-plus new homes in the Felixstowe area in the next 20 years could go before a public inquiry before they are finally agreed.

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to build 3,400-plus new homes in the Felixstowe area in the next 20 years could go before a public inquiry before they are finally agreed.

Protesters will have the chance to submit their views to the Planning Inspectorate - and if there are enough objections, an inquiry will be held.

But as yet it is not known when that is likely to be - and no timetable has been put forward.

The public is expected to be asked for its views on the housing proposals for the whole of the Suffolk Coastal district towards the end of this year.

In the next few weeks, councillors will complete the core strategy for the future of the district, which will establish the principle of building all the extra homes needed.

Specific plans for different areas - such as the Felixstowe Area Action Plan - to pinpoint where homes will be built in each community will then come later.

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Suffolk Coastal work on its new planning policy have been seriously delayed by a series of national changes to how local plans should be replaced and lengthy debates at regional level over the amount of housing needed.

It was originally hoped to consult on specific sites a year ago, but now it is unlikely suggested parcels of land - put forward by landowners and prospective developers - will be seen this year.

The council had been planning for 2021, but because of the delays is now looking at beyond that date.

It has drawn up plans to provide more than 11,000 new homes - including 3,430 in Felixstowe and the Trimley villages, an increase of 26 per cent in the housing stock.

There will also be 3,800 new homes on the Ipswich eastern fringe, of which 1,500 will be on land yet to be identified.

Many of the homes will be needed because 8,000 new jobs are forecast.

A paper to be discussed by councillors on October 16 says the public will have the chance to give their views on the proposals soon. Councillors will then consider responses before finalising the core strategy.

“A further opportunity to influence the plan is provided at this stage when representations on the document are invited to be submitted direct to the Planning Inspectorate,” says the report.

“An examination will take place, conducted by the Planning Inspectorate. The representations will be considered either by means of written representations or a public inquiry. The inspector's conclusions will then be binding on the council, and the only changes made to the document will be to meet the inspector's requirements.”

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

Where do you think the new homes should be built? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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