Refusal urged for first stage of new 2,000-home estate

Some 2,000 homes are set to be built off Gulpher Road in Felixstowe as part of a new 'garden neighbourhood' Picture: PHIL...

Some 2,000 homes are set to be built off Gulpher Road in Felixstowe as part of a new 'garden neighbourhood' Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

Community leaders are urging refusal of proposals which developers say will be the first phase of what is set to become a 2,000-home ‘garden neighbourhood’ on the edge of a seaside town.

Exhibition showing plans for 560 homes, shops, care and community facilities to be built on countryside in Gulpher Road on...

Exhibition showing plans for 560 homes, shops, care and community facilities to be built on countryside in Gulpher Road on the edge of Felixstowe - plans for the initial 260 are currently before planners Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Although Persimmon Homes has amended its plans for the 260-home initial project, Felixstowe Town Council is still unhappy and says there are a lot of issues which need resolving before the scheme goes any further.

East Suffolk Council wants to negotiate with landowners to create a masterplan for the 353-acre North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood (NFGN) with the aim to start building in two years.

The land – mostly farmland but including an equestrian area, businesses and former golf driving range – stretches from the Eastward Ho outodoor sports site and Grove woodland to the dock spur roundabout and is currently in several ownerships.

As well as 2,000 homes, the “garden neighbourhood” will include a new £20million sports complex, community hub and 630-place primary school off Candlet and Gulpher Roads.

The Gulpher Road area of Felixstowe Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

The Gulpher Road area of Felixstowe Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL - Credit: Archant

Persimmon already have consent on appeal for 560 homes and have submitted final plan designs for the first half of those properties.

Felixstowe Town Council though “strongly recommends refusal” and said: “Crucially, the developer asserts that many of these issues (concerning the council) are to be considered following planning approval. We believe that this is unrealistic and for the avoidance of doubt should be resolved as part of the planning process, prior to determination of the application.”

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Councillors’ concerns include worries over existing boundary hedgerows and vegetation, drainage and sewerage arrangements in an area already suffering problems, highways issues, allotment parking, a reduction in affordable housing, inadequate play provision, and disappointing housing design.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust has also lodged a holding objection, citing concerns that the ecological study for the land is now six years old and does not take account of wildlife changes.

Persimmon said its plans include the site for a school, open space and rights of way, care home, sites for small business units, community centre/retail and the first phase of the residential element.

It said: “The reserved matters application can be considered as the first phase of the delivery of the North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood. Future phases of the outline consent, can have regard relevant to the masterplan if it has been developed to a stage when it can be given weight.”

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