Mayor exhausted by homes clash

FELIXSTOWE'S mayor Joan Sennington has today said she is exhausted with arguing after another clash over proposals for hundreds of new homes.There were more angry scenes at the town's council meeting last nightas protestors argued against plans for building 1,620 new homes in Felixstowe, the twin Trimley villages and Walton over the next 15 years.

FELIXSTOWE'S mayor Joan Sennington has today said she is exhausted with arguing after another clash over proposals for hundreds of new homes.

There were more angry scenes at the town's council meeting last nightas protestors argued against plans for building 1,620 new homes in Felixstowe, the twin Trimley villages and Walton over the next 15 years.

The public question time soon turned into an angry confrontation between Mrs Sennington and Ken Ferris, spokesman for Save Felixstowe Countryside.

At one point Mrs Sennington called Mr Ferris “a bully” and threatened to call the police into the room to remove him.

He had demanded an apology from the mayor after she told protestors at a meeting in March to “go away you stupid people” but she responded by saying “I have nothing to apologise for” and added that she had felt threatened by the protestors at the time.

However Mr Ferris said: “As consultees I do not think you are doing your job properly. Consulting means consulting with the whole of Felixstowe and I don't think you have done that.”

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Today, Mrs Sennington admitted the plans may never go ahead, as issues like possible boundary changes could take place over the next decade.

She said: “You don't know what will happen in 15 years. We are trying to gear ourselves up to be prepared for any discussions to take place. We might end up with none of these preferred options.

“I never expected this backlash. I am exhausted. I genuinely believe in putting something back into the place where I have chosen to live.”

The town council has recommended that land adjacent to Candlet Road was the most suitable option for development.

Save Felixstowe Countryside say the proposed development is unsustainable and would have a detrimental impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Prior to the meeting, which attracted about 60 members of the public, Save Felixstowe Countryside presented 300 letters of objection and a petition to the town council, calling for an extension to the consultation period.

Julie Cornforth, a member of Save Felixstowe Countryside, said: “We don't feel that enough people have been told of the plans and it's only right that they have their say - otherwise it's just going to get pushed through without a murmur.”

Suffolk Coastal District Council will make the final decision on the site and is still asking for people to indicate which areas they would favour for housing. Members of the public have until April 11 to send in their views and can also look at the plans at www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk.

How do you think the council has handled this issue? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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