Uncertain future for resort hotel

ONE of Felixstowe's oldest hotels is facing an uncertain future following the refusal of plans to demolish it.

ONE of Felixstowe's oldest hotels is facing an uncertain future following the refusal of plans to demolish it.

Specialists McCarthy & Stone wanted to bulldoze The Ordnance Hotel - built in 1888 - and replace it with 42 sheltered flats for the elderly.

But Suffolk Coastal council has rejected the project - and say the designers need to go back to the drawing board.

Planners say the modern design of the proposed complex is unsympathetic to its surroundings, especially as the seafront is set to become a conservation area to protect its Edwardian heritage.

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They are also concerned about stability of the cliffs behind the site, and say the plans make no provision for affordable housing.

McCarthy & Stone, which has an option to buy the site if it gets planning permission, wants to demolish the 33-bed hotel, bars and 100-seater restaurant at the Ordnance roundabout in Undercliff Road West and use the sloping site for ten two-bed flats and 32 one-bed ones.

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There would be a communal lounge, kitchenette, and laundrette, and a house manager available during the day and 24-hour emergency service.

Although it is not providing affordable homes, the company says 80 per cent of people who move into retirement apartments come from within a three-mile radius, which could persuade pensioners to move to smaller accommodation, freeing up vital family homes at the resort.

Now its plans are up in the air.

A spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed by the refusal and we are currently considering our options.”

The Ordnance, which takes its name from army quarters and stables that previously occupied the site and provided the men for a seafront gun emplacement further along the road, has been a popular venue for many years.

At one time, dockers could reach the hotel by boat via a navigable creek which ran through where Langer Park now stands.

Would you be sad to see the Ordnance go? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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