Multi-million pound vision

MULTI-million pound proposals were unveiled today to revamp and expand one of Felixstowe's most popular attractions - the viewpoint overlooking the port.

MULTI-million pound proposals were unveiled today to revamp and expand one of Felixstowe's most popular attractions - the viewpoint overlooking the port.

More than 400,000 people from all over the county and further afield visit the viewing area each year to see Britain's biggest container terminal in action.

Now the area is set to be expanded with more car parking, a jetty for a cross-harbour ferry, and a visitor centre and toilets.

The whole area and Landguard Fort alongside would be protected with new natural sea defences to stop the current erosion problems.

Town councillors have welcomed the scheme, which will be built as part of the massive expansion plan for the southern part of the port.

Port corporate affairs manager Paul Davey said the aim was to submit a planning application for the development in October and so consultation on the viewing area project was currently taking place with interested bodies.

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"There will be formal consultation as part of the planning process, but at the moment we have presented to interested bodies our ideas and asked for their views so these can be incorporated into the final plan," he said.

He said the port would be giving land to the project - a dog-leg land triangle at the end of Landguard Terminal - to provide the extra parking and facilities.

Andy Smith, chairman of the town council's plans committee, warmly welcomed the project, which he described as "very encouraging".

"The plans deal with some very significant and major issues, some of which seemed insoluble and have bedevilled us and which we have aspired to have addressed for some time, such as the unused oddly-shaped triangular piece of land," he said.

"This scheme will be of huge benefit to the Landguard peninsula and is very good news.

"The town council has made some comments and suggested certain improvements and changes to the plans which we hope will be taken on board."

The council wants to ensure the viewing area is at an angle which will still provide a panoramic view to see the port operations, long stay and short stay car parking, and a road train service to take people to and from the seafront.

It wants the heritage centre to include displays on the historic and nature conservation aspects of the peninsula, shipping, port and harbour area, and have toilets and refreshments, and a ferry terminal waiting room and booking office.

The scheme to revamp the southern part of the port will see 1,000 metres of deepwater quay created for a further 1.5m standard-sized containers a year. It will include filling in the Dock Basin and getting rid of the old P&O ro-ro berths.

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail


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