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Step forward for seafront project

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

INTERVIEWS are set to take place with two developers wanting to transform a prime seafront site into a multi-million pound tourist attraction.

Representatives from the companies will outline in full to councillors their projects for the 17 acres of land at Felixstowe.

INTERVIEWS are set to take place with two developers wanting to transform a prime seafront site into a multi-million pound tourist attraction.

Representatives from the companies will outline in full to councillors their projects for the 17 acres of land at Felixstowe.

The names of the firms involved have not been revealed, and the interviews – expected to last all day – will take place behind closed doors.

No decision will be made today on which scheme is preferred, and members of the south seafront land sub committee will meet again on October 17 to discuss the two options for a partnership venture.

Six officials from each company have been invited to attend to make their presentation of their schemes and answer questions.

The councillors – David Bentinck, Hazel Blackshaw, Harry Dangerfield, Ray Herring, Dot Paddick, Doreen Savage, Chris Slemmings, David Smith and Andy Smith – will be supported by officers and representatives from consultants WS Atkins, Knight Frank and Eversheds.

Suffolk Coastal council wants to create a maritime heritage attraction on the site as part of the regeneration of the resort and attract thousands of visitors.

It should ideally include a themed feature trail, play equipment, pedestrian and cycleways, toilets, landscaping, car parking, and an outdoor events arena.

In order for the multi-million pound project to be completed at no further cost to council taxpayers, the council has agreed to the principle of some homes being built so private companies can finance the overall scheme.

Residents living in the resort's West End have seen other developers come and go with nothing happening since redevelopment of the former beach hut site was first announced some 16 years ago.

They want to work with the council, but are keen to see real benefits for their area and will vigorously fight any plans for a jet-ski launch site or for the demolition of the Herman de Stern building, the former West End Theatre.

They have been assured there will be public consultation before any scheme is agreed and the council will release details of its chosen option as soon as it can. If one of the bidders is successful, a planning application is likely in the spring.

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