Resort development gets the go-ahead

MAJOR changes have been approved for a proposed edge-of-town development which community leaders believe could help to keep shoppers in Felixstowe.It is hoped the new warehouse shops at Haven Exchange, opposite Dock Gate One, will persuade people to shop in the town rather than travel to Ipswich or Martlesham Heath.

MAJOR changes have been approved for a proposed edge-of-town development which community leaders believe could help to keep shoppers in Felixstowe.

It is hoped the new warehouse shops at Haven Exchange, opposite Dock Gate One, will persuade people to shop in the town rather than travel to Ipswich or Martlesham Heath.

Original plans to build two large buildings comprising 54,000sq ft of shopping space on the land in Walton Avenue were refused because planners said it would be an overdevelopment and cramped.

Now Tribecka Land Ltd has altered its scheme and councillors have agreed that one 45,000sq ft building divided into five shops with mezzanine floors, should be built instead. Parking would be increased from 130 to 141 spaces.

Felixstowe Town Council is “strongly in favour” of the scheme.

A spokesman said: “As a matter of principle, after much discussion, the town council is strongly of the view that this proposal does not represent a threat to the health and vitality of Felixstowe town centre.

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“We believe the dangers to the health of the retail trade in Felixstowe are derived very much more from Felixstowe's ease of access to retail in Ipswich and Martlesham.”

“We believe that retail at Haven Exchange can have a role in both supplementing the retail in the town centre and also in attracting visitors who can then go on to visit and enjoy the resort facilities in Felixstowe. “

A report to Suffolk Coastal's south area development control sub committee, which approved the project at its meeting on Tuesday , said the scheme overcame the grounds of refusal for the previous project.

Planners said: “The omission of one of the buildings has reduced the total footprint of buildings on the site such that there is now more space for servicing of the units by HGVs, more space to achieve a significant landscaping belt between the proposed acoustic fence and the boundary of the site.”

Do you think having shops near the port will take trade away from Felixstowe town centre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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