Public views sought on seafront
FAMILIES are today being asked for their views on what should be built on a 17-acre site on Felixstowe seafront to regenerate the resort.Meanwhile, it was announced Suffolk Coastal's development partners Bloor Homes have appealed against refusal of their project for the land – and a public inquiry will now be held.
FAMILIES are today being asked for their views on what should be built on a 17-acre site on Felixstowe seafront to regenerate the resort.
Meanwhile, it was announced Suffolk Coastal's development partners Bloor Homes have appealed against refusal of their project for the land - and a public inquiry will now be held.
The council wants to use the land, designated for leisure, to build upmarket blocks of flats and houses with sea views.
In return for six acres, Bloor will provide £2.3 million of car parks, gardens, café, restaurant, an amphitheatre and play areas.
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But the council's planners refused the scheme - because it was against policy, did not feature the promised major leisure park, could cause traffic problems, harm the setting of a Martello Tower and demolish the Herman de Stern.
Now the Liberal Democrats are asking the public what they think to try to generate an alternative plan for the land.
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Hundreds of households are being surveyed in the south and west wards, and the aim is to do the whole town.
The surveys seeks opinions on the current policy for the land, but also what people think of suggested ideas for it - including a boat pond, bandstand, beach sports area, sailboarding centre, and covered skateboard park.
Other suggestions include an arts centre in the Herman de Stern, or a Doorstep Green project to use most of the land for informal recreation.
Councillor Mike Ninnmey said: "People at Suffolk Coastal are making no attempt to find out what residents would like to see on this land - some senior councillors appear not to recognise that the council's own planning system has vetoed the plans as being against policy.
"The latest issue of the council's magazine CoastLine does not even give the reasons why the project was refused!
"They have also used an 'artist's impression' that was so misleading planning officers were reluctant to show it to the committee which refused the plan and when they did show it, everyone laughed.
"The magazine is partial, biased propaganda, and it appears open debate on this project is not allowed."
One of the main concerns is over how much housing would be allowed and the Liberal Democrats believe many residents would prefer a low-key scheme which would need less to pay for its construction.
"The current scheme has been rejected and yet there is no Plan B, simply to bring back another very similar one and try to persuade the planners it meets all their concerns," said Mr Ninnmey.
"We would like to see a wide-ranging public debate to ensure what is built is something residents would really like."
What would you like to see built on Felixstowe's south seafront? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk