Leisure complex gets go-ahead - just

A LEISURE complex destined to revitalise the heart of Felixstowe has been given the go ahead today despite objections from residents and local councillors.

A LEISURE complex destined to revitalise the heart of Felixstowe has been given the go ahead today despite objections from residents and local councillors.

The £3.2 million scheme will see the existing Palace Bingo Hall and cinema in Crescent Road turned into a 52-bedroom hotel, bingo hall, bar restaurant and fitness club.

The Environmental Health Office, The Felixstowe Society and The Felixstowe Town Centre Residents' Association had all raised objections to the scheme, but planning officers overruled their objections recommending approval.

At a meeting of Suffolk Coastal District Council's development control sub committee this morning the scheme sparked a lengthy debate between councillors and planning officers.


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Concerns were raised about the lack of parking for the hotel's customers and staff as the extension will see the disappearance of the existing 22 parking spaces.

There were also fears about the effects increased noise would have on local residents.

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A report from the Office of Environmental Health recommended refusal of the scheme stating that late night opening and increased deliveries would cause disturbance to nearby properties throughout the night and early hours of the morning.

There were also concerns at the loss of the cinema but the committee heard that the applicant may be willing to consider retaining the cinema.

Felixstowe District Councillor Ann Rodwell said she felt the committee had not been given enough information to make an accurate decision. She said: "We are all concerned because it is all 'mights, hopes and encouragements' and that's not enough for the residents.

"My phone has been red hot with people worried about the noise and the upheaval."

Officers reminded councillors that because the application did not involve a change in the class of use of the building they were limited in the restrictions they could make.

Councillors voted five to four in favour of the scheme.

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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