Thousands register views on homes
MORE than 2,000 people and organisations have sent in their views on where 2,600 new homes should be built at Felixstowe and east of Ipswich.The potential sites at Felixstowe and the twin Trimley villages have drawn the most controversy, but Suffolk Coastal council has also received a huge postbag - on-line and by mail - about suggested sites at Martlesham, Rushmere and Westerfield.
MORE than 2,000 people and organisations have sent in their views on where 2,600 new homes should be built at Felixstowe and east of Ipswich.
The potential sites at Felixstowe and the twin Trimley villages have drawn the most controversy, but Suffolk Coastal council has also received a huge postbag - on-line and by mail - about suggested sites at Martlesham, Rushmere and Westerfield.
At Felixstowe, there has been an angry reaction over suggestions that new homes should be built on the northern edge of the town - the resort's only countryside, bordering an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Town councillors have called it the “least worst” option for building 1,620 new homes - even though there are fields and other sites within the town's natural boundaries where the homes could go.
The district council held a ten-week consultation, having extended the original period by two weeks because of the huge amount of interest, and is now assessing the response.
Steve Brown, planning policy and implementation manager, said about 2,000 responses had been received from individuals and a range of interested organisations, along with a number of protest petitions containing many more signatures.
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“We are now assessing the responses we have received to the consultation for both the Ipswich and Felixstowe areas and looking at the various points they raise,” said Mr Brown.
“The aim is to compile a report for councillors by the end of May in which we will make recommendations on preferred options for where the homes might be built.”
Once councillors choose preferred areas for building, there will be further public consultation over the exact sites - and the phasing of developments as the homes will be built between 2010 and 2024.
Councillor Mike Ninnmey, who has suggested an alternative site which would create a stand-alone village to cater for housing needs now and well into the future, said he was still unhappy with the consultation process.
“In Ipswich, where a similar consultation is taking place over sites for homes, the deadline has been extended more than once, public meetings held and drop-in sessions for the public to find out what is happening,” he said.
“Unless you own a computer and know something is happening in Felixstowe, you would miss out on the chance to comment.
“We had one council meeting and only 100 people could get inside - 0.4 per cent of the population. I think this was poor.”
Where should the new homes be built? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk