Talks to continue on controversial homes

FRESH negotiations are to take place before a scheme to build nearly 60 new homes in central Felixstowe can go ahead.There have been objections to proposals to use the “green lung” of the former grounds of the Convent of Jesus and Mary, in Orwell Road - and developers have been told to make improvements to the plans.

Richard Cornwell

FRESH negotiations are to take place before a scheme to build nearly 60 new homes in central Felixstowe can go ahead.

There have been objections to proposals to use the “green lung” of the former grounds of the Convent of Jesus and Mary, in Orwell Road - and developers have been told to make improvements to the plans.

Hopkins Homes wants to build 57 properties including 17 affordable homes.

Suffolk Coastal agreed the principle of development two-and-a-half years ago, but last year an application for 59 homes was refused because it was an “overdevelopment”.

Now, the latest plan has been criticised by members of the council's development control sub committee.

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Councillor Cliff Cocker said: “The thought that crosses my mind is that this is like a lot of my school reports - could do better.”

Andy Smith, a Felixstowe district councillor, said: “It is true that the scheme is not as bad as the previous scheme. That is the most generous I can be.

“The general level of acceptability has gone from 5/10 to 7/10. This scheme, taken as a whole, is simply fundamentally unsuitable for this part of Felixstowe.”

Paul Coffey, the council's development control manager, said: “Negotiations have resulted in a much better solution. It is more spacious, it is not cramped and we encouraged the more contemporary design for the flats.”

Felixstowe Town Council recommended the plans should be refused and there were letters from 15 objectors. They were worried about the high density and the loss of trees, a green amenity site and wildlife.

Hopkins Homes emphasised it would be a ''high quality residential development'' and contemporary and traditional styles would be successfully merged.

Council officers will now discuss changes for the development and they have been given authority to make a final decision.

Should the development get the go-ahead? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk