Seafront plans still under wraps

MORE than a year after it was first expected, the planning application has at last been received for Felixstowe's south seafront – but the public cannot see it yet.

MORE than a year after it was first expected, the planning application has at last been received for Felixstowe's south seafront - but the public cannot see it yet.

Council officials said today that most of the information needed had been received from Bloor Homes, but the plans could not be registered until they were thoroughly checked and all the relevant documents had arrived.

But campaigners against the project for the 17-acre site found it astonishing that an application had been received at all.

Liberal Democrat Mike Ninnmey said: "We are very surprised that a planning application has been received when there are still so many outstanding matters to be resolved and which have not been brought to councillors to deal with.

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"We are now waiting to see what the plans contain and whether there have been any major changes to what we are expecting to see."

The major points of concern are:

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n Plans have been put in but the council task group running the project has not met for eight months.

n Why have consultants' reports on the Martello Tower which were paid for at public expense not been shown to councillors or the public or even discussed?

n Why have views on the future of the tower been canvassed from members of outside groups before councillors have been asked to give an opinion?

n Why have other existing reports - which were due to be given to a task group meeting last month but which was cancelled - remained confidential?

n Has a model of the proposed development, which was requested, been commissioned?

n Land purchase issues are not complete.

n Have changes been made to the proposals without councillors giving a view?

A Suffolk Coastal council spokesman said the bulk of the planning application papers were received from Bloor Homes on Friday February 13, but some items are still being finalised.

"One of the reasons for getting the Bloors information now is that there is so much to collate - around 50 separate items were delivered which need to be checked," said the spokesman.

"Before it can be officially registered our development control staff will have to be satisfied that all the necessary information has been supplied.

"As soon as it has all been received we will publicise that fact. We reiterate that all the normal planning rules and procedures will be followed, with the application and all the necessary information available for public inspection, with adequate opportunity for comments."

After 20 years of trying to develop the site - between Orford Road and the Manor Club - it is the first time a possible development has reached this stage.

The scheme is expected to feature 200 new homes, gardens, ampitheatre, wooden galleon, beach café, pub/restaurant and car parks.

n What do you think should be built on Felixstowe's south seafront? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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