New village gets backing

DEVELOPERS have put forward more than 220 acres of land in the Felixstowe area as possible sites for homes and 72 acres for potential business development.

DEVELOPERS have put forward more than 220 acres of land in the Felixstowe area as possible sites for homes and 72 acres for potential business development.

Whether any of the sites will be chosen for development remains to be seen - especially with the public not in favour of the vast majority, and apparently supporting a new site entirely.

Councillor Mike Ninnmey said initial analysis of the 2,000-plus responses to the consultation on where 1,600 homes should be built had shown the only site receiving a positive response from the public was his suggestion for a new community called Trimley All Saints alongside the A14.

The 500-acre plus site - bounded by the dual carriageway, Kirton Road and Croft Lane - could be used for a 4,000-home stand-alone eco-friendly settlement phased to provide not only homes needed until 2024, but also the future, creating a proper community.

It would also have space for some employment plus recreation, and a community centre, shops, school and other needs.

“The initial feedback we have had from the planning officers at Suffolk Coastal is that none of the suggested areas for building received any positive feedback at all,” said Mr Ninnmey.

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“The most hated was the proposal to use land at Old Felixstowe, and the second highest objections was for the north Felixstowe sites which the Save Our Countryside campaign is concerned about, with less opposition to building in the Trimleys.

“Interestingly, the only suggested site which gained a favourable response on the graph was the site put forward as an alternative by Felixstowe Town Council for the land I am calling Trimley All Saints.”

Of all the sites put forward by various developers and landowners, 120 acres have been identified in various parcels on the northern edge of Felixstowe, the Gulpher Road area, along with 100 acres in Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary.

A developer has also put forward 72 acres of fields alongside the A14 at Morston Hall for industry.

Suffolk Coastal officers are currently assessing the consultation responses and aiming to compile a report for councillors by the end the month with recommendations on preferred options for where homes might be built.

Once councillors choose preferred areas for building, there will be further public consultation over the exact sites - and the phasing of developments as the homes will be built between 2010 and 2024.

Is creating a new stand-alone community a good idea - or should Trimley and Walton's fields be taken for housing, or Felixstowe spread into open countryside? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Why do we need these homes?

Experts say Felixstowe needs around 1,700 new homes else the town will begin to face decline.

Without this number, the population will start to fall - people are living longer and so not moving out of homes to free them for youngsters, and more people are living on their own through choice, and circumstances such as marriage break-ups.

Less people would mean possibly the closure of at least one school, a threat to the type and number of shops, and less leisure and community facilities.

If the workforce is less - due to a population fall and more older or retired people - there would be fewer employment opportunities.

Young people would move away from the resort to find work and homes.

However, the Port of Felixstowe is set to expand and this will provide around 1,400 new jobs in the shipping industry - and new homes will also be needed for those workers.

For Felixstowe to standstill, 1,700 homes would be needed - fort it to grow perhaps up to 2,400 would be required.

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