New homes row

GROWING concern was voiced today over where 7,000-plus new homes will be built – with fears of a new settlement having to be created.The housing will be needed to cater for extra workers at Felixstowe port and in new technology companies and other industry in the area.

GROWING concern was voiced today over where 7,000-plus new homes will be built - with fears of a new settlement having to be created.

The housing will be needed to cater for extra workers at Felixstowe port and in new technology companies and other industry in the area.

Suffolk Coastal District Council says the homes will be built in the part of its area covered by the Haven Gateway Partnership, which includes the Felixstowe peninsula, Martlesham, Kesgrave and Woodbridge, in the next 15 years.

Already on the stocks are proposals for up to 3,000 new homes in the Trimleys - though residents are fighting hard to stop them - and suggestions to use land to the north of Felixstowe for a huge new development.

But now campaigners are calling for planners to reveal their ideas, though work is behind schedule.

Felixstowe councillor Mike Ninnmey said: "It is time we were told where these houses might go so that people can have a say.

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"I cannot see where 7,000 homes might go - that is a huge number to be provided by organic growth.

"Even with the proposals put forward for the Trimleys, I wonder if we are looking at a new town, a new settlement proposal.

"If that is the case, then there will be a lot of work to do and we are not just talking about allocating land for houses, but for all sorts of amenities, roads and transport links. Some big decisions will have to be made."

In the late 1980s the county council suggested Newbourne, near Felixstowe, could become a new town but the suggestion split the village and the project was eventually dropped.

Landowning Trinity College, Cambridge, has already unveiled its vision to use all the land between the A14 and Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line for homes, though it is currently revising its proposals to take account of local views.

Many fear the college's ideas could become more attractive to planners with so many houses needed.

Suffolk Coastal has said little about where the homes might go - except it expects to allocate sites for 1,000 in both the Felixstowe and Martlesham areas.

Strategic director Jeremy Schofield told the public inquiry in to the expansion of Felixstowe port 10,100 extra homes would be needed in the district.

Of these, 7,050 would be in the part of the district which falls in the Haven Gateway region - and the other 3,050 in the rest of the district.

He said these would be needed to cater for 8,000 extra jobs expected to be created in the maritime sector, and also British Telecom and similar industries.

The part Haven Gateway - a project seeking to boost the economy of Ipswich, Felixstowe, Harwich ports and surrounding area - in Suffolk Coastal includes not only the Felixstowe peninsula, but also Bealings, Grundisburgh, Kesgrave, Martlesham, Rushmere and Woodbridge.

Where do you think new homes should be built - would you favour a new settlement? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1An, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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