Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 25°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Waterside green bid just remains afloat

PUBLISHED: 20:55 30 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

LAST-ditch efforts are today still taking place to raise the cash needed to create the country's smallest millennium green at a riverside hamlet.

Organisers of the project at Felixstowe Ferry refused to comment on the latest situation or to confirm that the Countryside Agency had given yet another extension to its deadline for the money to be found.

LAST-ditch efforts are today still taking place to raise the cash needed to create the country's smallest millennium green at a riverside hamlet.

Organisers of the project at Felixstowe Ferry refused to comment on the latest situation or to confirm that the Countryside Agency had given yet another extension to its deadline for the money to be found.

Meanwhile, a property developer has questioned why the public is being asked to buy the land at all – when he is convinced it can never be developed anyway.

The Countryside Agency has threatened to take back a £65,000 grant it had given to the Felixstowe Ferry Trust, leaving the trustees angry and frustrated as they still had not reached the deadline for finding the £211,000 to buy the land.

The agency has already given the trust two stays of execution – one of which ran out last week – and is now understood to have extended the date for a third time.

It had threatened to take back the grant because of contractual obligations to the Millennium Commission over the distribution of the money, but the trust had said it is confident of finding the rest of the cash with a little more time.

Tony Ratcliffe, chairman of the trust, refused to comment on the latest situation but indicated that all parties involved were still working hard.

A prospective developer who contacted The Evening Star after meeting with council officials said he believed the land the trust wanted to buy could not be built upon and it was a scandal that public money was being used to buy it.

Although landowners the Felixstowe Ferry Syndicate have permission to build a holiday village, it was unlikely to be carried out as it would mean demolishing homes and other buildings on the other side of the flood defences.

The scheme to build six luxury homes – which has consent but has never been confirmed because a legal agreement has not been signed – would also mean mains services had to be provided and an expensive vehicle turning circle built.

"I cannot believe either of these schemes will ever be built – the restrictions are too severe and far too expensive," said the developer.

"Planning officers said that any developer would be prosecuted for breach of permission if they did not build the turning circle or demolish the other properties, and they may not give planning permission in the future for building on the land as circumstances have changed considerably.

"It is a waste of public money and the Countryside Agency and councils could use their money much better and just let this land lay fallow."

But Mr Ratcliffe – whose trust has an exclusive option to buy the land with a November deadline – said: "If the syndicate still wanted to build that holiday village they could, even carrying out the demolition and other conditions, and no-one has proved to anyone's satisfaction that that wouldn't happen."

WEBLINK: www.countryside.gov.uk

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists