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Planners face resort bounds dilemma

PUBLISHED: 19:53 16 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:39 03 March 2010

SHOULD Felixstowe break out from the chains of its boundaries to solve the town's housing crisis?

That's the question being pondered by planners as they face up to the need to provide hundreds of new family homes at the resort over the next decade.

SHOULD Felixstowe break out from the chains of its boundaries to solve the town's housing crisis?

That's the question being pondered by planners as they face up to the need to provide hundreds of new family homes at the resort over the next decade.

The Walton by-pass on the edge of the town, and Ferry Road, Old Felixstowe, have provided natural boundaries which have not been crossed.

But the resort has run out of other land for new estates, which has meant prices of homes have rocketed, and many homeless families stuck in bed and breakfast, and must now consider whether to use countryside to meet its needs.

Suffolk Coastal, which has seen its population increase by 34 per cent in the past 30 years, needs to have 6,400 new homes by 2016 – and a large number of them are likely to be built on the Felixstowe peninsula.

Andy Smith, chairman of Felixstowe Town Council's plans committee and district cabinet member for planning, said everyone would be consulted on the suggested sites for new homes.

The district council had drawn up a draft report on the issues and this would be considered by the cabinet soon.

Details would then be published in the council's Coastline paper or a special edition, asking for people's views, possibly later this autumn.

Mr Smith said the town council had not given a formal view yet on where new homes should be built, but had "taken the first step" by saying there was a need to look at allocating more land.

"Felixstowe's story since the second world war has been one of constant expansion – first with the Coronation Estate, then the Upperfield Drive area, the Cliff Estate, then finally Cavendish Park and Orwell Green," he said.

"Orwell Green filled up at the end of the 1990s. Now we have nowhere of any scale left within the town's boundaries on which to build.

"There is no question of building on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but there is room for debate about the north-east periphery."

The district issues report suggests farmland in the Ferry Road area at Old Felixstowe, particularly behind Estuary Drive and alongside the Ferry Centre, and land in the Candlet Road and Gulpher Road area could be developed.

Candlet Road has fields alongside and also allotments, both of which provide open views as people enter Felixstowe. Many people may be worried that building in these areas will see them destroyed forever.

Planners though say the lack of land within the resort has led to "town cramming" and prevented the development of employment and community facilities, such as leisure and medical services.

Fields in Walton, between Felixstowe and Trimley St Mary, could also be considered, and also sites on the edge of the Trimleys.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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