Protests greet seafront discussions

PROTESTERS with banners greeted councillors as they met to consider the latest developments in the saga to turn Felixstowe's south seafront into a new tourist attraction.

By Richard Cornwell

PROTESTERS with banners greeted councillors as they met to consider the latest developments in the saga to turn Felixstowe's south seafront into a new tourist attraction.

But while many people still remain angry at the proposals for the 17-acre site, there was good news for one group of objectors – the beach hut owners.

The south seafront land task group formally agreed that the wooden chalets could stay as part of the multi-million pound scheme for the site.


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However, councillors again got themselves in a muddle as they refused to say how many of the 58 huts would be allowed to remain on the site. They said only that the "substantial majority" of them would stay.

The hut owners – backed by The Evening Star – had waged an intensive two-week campaign after council officials sent them eviction letters. But councillors did a dramatic U-turn after listening to the hut owners' views.

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After last night's meeting, Mike Ninnmey, of the Save Our Seafront campaign, said: "Most of the hut owners I spoke to are still not completely happy.

"They will be watching the situation very carefully.

"The council had a great opportunity to make itself popular with the hut owners but still left some doubts. It will be interesting to see what the plans show."

The task group says the huts can stay, though they will have to be rearranged into a new smaller site, and they will have to be kept in tip-top condition.

Owners will be given a rent-free period to March 31, after which rents will be pegged for a year before being reviewed again.

Residents from Manor Terrace and other objectors attended the meeting to hear the latest developments on the scheme being drawn up by Bloor Homes and Suffolk Coastal council.

A planning application is expected before the end of the month. Residents are angry that they were originally told there would be consultation on changes to the original concept before formal plans were submitted.

The ombudsman has been asked to make an official investigation into alleged maladministration on this point.

The scheme features 188 homes, with leisure facilities including gardens, an amphitheatre, pub, café, car parks, wooden galleon and play areas.

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