Massive development is proposed for countryside on edge of Felixstowe

Proposals have been put forward for 570 homes on the Gulpher Road area of Felixstowe.

Proposals have been put forward for 570 homes on the Gulpher Road area of Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Campaigners are gearing up for a major offensive after developers revealed proposals for 570 new homes as part of a massive project on countryside on the edge of Felixstowe.

Proposals have been put forward for 570 homes on the Gulpher Road area of Felixstowe.

Proposals have been put forward for 570 homes on the Gulpher Road area of Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Christchurch Land and Estates (Felixstowe) Ltd is putting together a planning application for the housing, along with care and community facilities, and a local centre with possibly shops, on land off Gulpher Road and Candlet Road.

But as details began to emerge, it was revealed Suffolk Coastal has already branded the land as “not suitable” for development.

The district council yesterday published its Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) in which it assessed all possible land for housing development across the district, including sites submitted by landowners, agents and those identified by planners.

The report reveals the land at Cowpasture Farm and alongside the farm in Gulpher Road has been analysed and has not been identified in the core strategy as a strategic site.

The council said: “The size of the site would give rise to a ‘strategic’ level of housing development.”

In the strategy – approved by a government inspector – the council says the Gulpher Road area “provides a significant and widely-used variety of resources for both formal and informal recreation, which will be preserved, particularly where views exist to and from the Deben Estuary and the Coast and Heaths AONB”.

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The wording was put in place following a three-year campaign by the Save Felixstowe Countryside group after it was suggested by landowners that 1,600 homes could be built across the north of the town.

Gill Mason, of the group, said: “If this ‘Gulpher New Town’ is allowed to go ahead, it will completely change the face and character of Felixstowe, and the potential of 700-plus extra cars will cause even more traffic misery for those living in and visiting the town.

“Our local councillors have always said they are ‘protective’ of the rural appearance of this main route into the town – now may be the time to put that to the test.”

In a letter to residents, Richard Brown, consultant for Christchurch Land and Estates, said an outline planning application for 570 homes was being prepared for the site, which begins at Abbey Farm, Candlet Road, goes behind town council allotments, and includes Cowpasture Farm, a golf driving range and fields.

He said a public exhibition of the proposals would be held at Walton Community Hall, High Street, Felixstowe, on Monday, November 10, from 3pm to 8pm when members of the planning team will be available to answer questions.

Suffolk Coastal says Felixstowe needs 1,760 new homes over the next 15 years following a long period of “consolidation” following the building of large numbers of homes and rapid growth.

So far 737 properties have been approved, including 190 at Walton Green South and 200 on land in Ferry Road, Old Felixstowe.

Planners have already indicated that the 30-acre Walton Green North site would be suitable for housing plus several sites in the Trimleys, including 200 homes in Church Lane.

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