Novel use for new venue

IT'S not exactly music to residents' ears – but developers of a new venue on a flood plain have suggested it might come in handy, not just for entertainment.

IT'S not exactly music to residents' ears – but developers of a new venue on a flood plain have suggested it might come in handy, not just for entertainment.

Families have not been on a crest of a wave since hearing details of a proposed project opposite their homes, and now don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Because developers Bloor Homes are suggesting a new ampitheatre will provide not just an open-air concert venue . . . but somewhere for families to climb to the top of and wait to be rescued if the area floods!

It's not an early April Fool, but a serious suggestion in the submission made by Bloor, who are developing the 17-acre south seafront site with Suffolk Coastal.

Chairman of the West End of Felixstowe Residents Association, Doreen Rayner said: "It is unbelievable. When I read that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

"I reported it to the other residents and they were stunned.

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"The documents go on and on about how unlikely a flood would be, how houses can safely be built on a flood plain, how sea defences will be improved.

"Then in the next breath they say if there was a flood people in the area can all go and gather at the ampitheatre, climb to the top levels and wait there for the waters to abate or for boats to be sent to rescue them.

"They suggest that this is an improvement for the area!"

Mrs Rayner said that – despite the council's repeated attempts to reassure the public over the flooding risk – there were still very real fears the area could be flooded and part of the land acts as a soakaway when water overtops defences.

"We have had flooding on this land in 1968, 1979, 1987 and 1996 and every winter sandbags are issued," she said.

Suffolk Coastal and Bloor say the area is well protected from potential risk. The 209 homes to be built on the site as part of the £15 million-plus plan, to help fund leisure attractions, will be constructed 31cm higher than the predicted "extreme event" flood surge, including an allowance for global warming.

n What do you think of the project – are you worried about flooding? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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