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More housing for Felixstowe?

PUBLISHED: 09:57 10 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:27 03 March 2010

CHANGES to a major seafront regeneration project are set to be unveiled- and could include even more homes than expected.

Draft proposals for Felixstowe's 17-acre south seafront showed some 175 homes would be built as part of the deal with Bloor Homes.

CHANGES to a major seafront regeneration project are set to be unveiled– and could include even more homes than expected.

Draft proposals for Felixstowe's 17-acre south seafront showed some 175 homes would be built as part of the deal with Bloor Homes.

But The Evening Star understands that when a planning application is formally made this month, the scheme will now feature an astonishing 188 properties.

And councillors are pressing ahead with the plan even though their own cabinet and task group have described the house designs as "very average" and disappointing, simply because they want the plans agreed in November and a start on site by April 2003.

Concern has already been voiced over whether the six acres for homes – 36 per cent of the site between Orford Road and the Manor Club – is a "minor" part of the land use for what is supposed to be a tourism and leisure scheme.

Labour councillors have condemned it as a housing development with nice gardens and play areas, and very little to benefit existing residents and the tourist trade.

There is also growing concern over the annual maintenance and running costs of the scheme, which councillors have been told could be between £80,000 and £115,000 a year.

After a public meeting to gauge reaction to the conceptual designs for the site, Bloor Homes were asked by councillors to make some changes to the plans.

They have since resubmitted fresh proposals, which have been approved by Suffolk Coastal's cabinet.

These will now form the basis of a planning application, due to be submitted during the cabinet's holiday break.

Press and public were excluded while the new plans were debated, but it is known that the proposed pub and restaurant to be built at the entrance to the development in Orford Road has been made smaller.

This was to avoid it becoming part of a chain, and make it more attractive to an independent operator and ease fears of potential late-night nuisance.

The amount of public car parking – 18pc of the leisure area – has also been increased, to 264 spaces, following local concern, and two blocks of flats proposed in Manor Terrace have been altered after complaints about loss of sea views.

But whether any of the leisure land area has been reduced and the attractions axed to accommodate more parking and extra housing is not yet known.

The plan featured new play areas for toddlers and juniors, a timber galleon, gardens with sculptures and marine artefacts, beach café, ampitheatre, and art exhibition area at the Martello Tower.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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