Protest over new tourist attraction
FAMILIES fighting moves to build houses and a new tourist attraction opposite their seafront homes are drawing up an alternative project for the land.Residents are designing the scheme to try to persuade councillors that the land can be used effectively for the community – without the need to build 170-plus new homes.
FAMILIES fighting moves to build houses and a new tourist attraction opposite their seafront homes are drawing up an alternative project for the land.
Residents are designing the scheme to try to persuade councillors that the land can be used effectively for the community – without the need to build 170-plus new homes.
Other campaigners are also taking legal advice to approach the government to have the issue "called in" by ministers as it is felt wrong that Suffolk Coastal should decide permission for such a large project on its own land.
The council has said that it cannot afford to do anything with the 17-acre south seafront site unless homes are built on part of the area.
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Allowing a developer to build and sell properties will generate the cash to create recreational facilities to regenerate the area for residents and visitors.
But the Against Felixstowe Fat Cat Developer, the action group leading the campaign against the project, says other options for the site should be explored.
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It has been in touch with the Countryside Agency to look at a potential scheme called a "Doorstep Green".
Action group chairman Barney Thirkettle said residents were far from being a negative influence on the outcome of the south seafront development and wanted to work to produce a positive outcome.
Self help was very much a part of the group's ethic and it was in the process of exploring other more suitable developments.
The aim of the Doorstep Green initiative was to create or revitalise a green space and grants were available to help with community projects.
"The south seafront fits the bill exactly," Mr Thirkettle told a meeting of the action group, held at the Manor Club, Manor Terrace.
"It is disappointing to note that the Countryside Agency has not been approached in respect of this issue, despite asking for local authority involvement.
"With several hundred willing volunteers, a grant and the prospect of continued funding from modest car parking fees, the south sea front land could be developed into something Felixstowe can be justly proud.
"It is suggested that the council had better have a very good reason for not even investigating this approach."
The council is proposing to enter into a partnership with Bloor Homes to develop the site, which stretches from Orford Road to Manor terrace.
The conceptual plans showed a minimum of 175 homes, new play areas, a timber galleon, gardens, car parks, café, and an ampitheatre.
The council has examined the results of public consultation on the ideas and has asked the developers to look again at the plans to increase car parking, examine plans for a pub-restaurant in Orford Road, and look at ways in which housing can be changed to avoid Manor Terrace residents losing their seaviews.
WEBLINK: www .countryside.gov.uk/doorstepgreens