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Parking fears cast shadow over casino

PUBLISHED: 22:38 13 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:39 03 March 2010

CONCERNS over lack of parking could be a stumbling block for a new leisure complex including a casino in Felixstowe.

Plans for the £3.2m development of the Palace Bingo do not include parking - and its proposed late opening hours and an out-of-place 'monolithic' design are also seen as problems.

CONCERNS over lack of parking could be a stumbling block for a new leisure complex including a casino in Felixstowe.

Plans for the £3.2m development of the Palace Bingo do not include parking - and its proposed late opening hours and an out-of-place 'monolithic' design are also seen as problems.

Felixstowe town council's plans committee met to discuss the proposed development of the three-storey complex, with bars, restaurant, casino, bingo hall, 57 double room hotel, fitness club and cinema, to give their recommendations to Suffolk Coastal council.

Although they overall supported the new 53 jobs boost to the resort and the extra business it would bring to the town with 57 hotel rooms the committee raised a number of concerns.

"This is a very exciting project but I'm very concerned by the lack of on site parking", said Doreen Savage, of the town council, at the meeting yesterday in the town hall.

At the moment the Crescent Road car park next to the Palace Bingo does not have the facility for over-night parking and Mrs Savage was concerned that Penfold Road, the nearest residential street behind the proposed complex, would be used as a hotel car park.

But council policy states that provision of parking spaces in the centre should be sufficient especially as hotel guests would most likely use the car parks during quieter periods.

Mrs Savage added that the committee also vehemently opposed the 4am closing time because they envisaged a large group of gamblers emerging from the casino at the same time in the early hours of the morning which could lead to disturbances in the high street.

The committee described the type of building - illustrated in conceptual drawings - as "monolithic" due to its style and the fact that the building would be trebled in size.

They have forwarded their concerns to Suffolk Coastal that the enlarged building –it would be one metre higher than the existing 12.3m building - could tower over homes in Penfold Road.

Andy Smith, chairman of the committee, said that the imposing height on the side of the building adjacent to Crescent Road was acceptable but that they had concerns over the sides adjacent to Cobbold Road and Penfold Road.

They suggested that landscaping the boundaries of the building with trees and plants could help soften the towering effect of the large building and would be more in keeping with the local area.

The committee was pleased that one cinema screen, a similar size to the current screen number two, would be included in the complex and that more hotel rooms would reduce the deficit of accommodation in the town.

Suffolk Coastal will now take the committee's recommendations in to consideration before making a final decision.

Weblink: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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