It's not too late for seafront: claim

CLAIMS it is too late to change a proposed multi-million pound development were today branded "absolute rubbish" – after it was revealed no contracts had yet been signed.

CLAIMS it is too late to change a proposed multi-million pound development were today branded "absolute rubbish" – after it was revealed no contracts had yet been signed.

Campaigners are bitterly disappointed with both the lack of tourist attractions in the Felixstowe scheme and the less-than-adequate amount of social housing.

Only 22 of the 209 homes will be for rent to homeless families when the town has a desperate need for such properties.

The issue is particularly bitter as councillors will next week agree that all future projects should include 30pc of affordable homes.


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But they are not prepared to backtrack on the south seafront scheme, even though no planning application has yet been made.

Campaigners say the issue smacks of double standards and a fear of upsetting chosen developers Bloor Homes, who the council is terrified of losing.

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"The council needs to ensure this is a development which really benefits Felixstowe – and at the moment it does not and council leaders are unwilling to go back and try to get more for the town," said councillor Dot Paddick.

"We are told it has gone too far. That is plainly ridiculous, no contracts have been signed, no deal is done – the council still has plenty of time to get this right.

"This is our land and we should stick out for what we want and insist that certain things are done or there is no deal. If we have to find another developer, then so be it. It's absolute rubbish to say it is too late – are we being held to ransom?

"If Bloor Homes felt there was a problem or were unhappy at any time, they would not hesitate to just walk away.

"We should adopt the same attitude to make sure we get what is best for the people of Felixstowe."

Councillor Andy Smith told Suffolk Coastal councillors it was too late to make major changes.

"We are not at the beginning of the process – we hope we are very close to the end of it. It is not a luxury we have to renegotiate the whole thing now," he said.

David Smith, chairman of the south seafront task group, confirmed that no contracts had yet been signed. It was hoped a planning application would be in soon and contracts would be finalised soon afterwards.

He said the scheme was the culmination of four years' work to develop a site which the council had been trying to develop for 19 years.

In addition to the homes, the scheme will provide gardens, an ampitheatre, wooden galleon, play areas, car parks and café.

n What do you think – should the council insist on more social housing? Will play areas and gardens really attract tourists? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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