The above photograph was taken from the proposed development site. Geographically this land is one of the highest points in Felixstowe. This panoramic landscape will be destroyed if the planning application is accepted.
A formal planning application has been submitted to Suffolk Coastal District Council by JCN Design (agent) to build 200 homes on two fields which border Ferry Road and Estuary Drive. For full details www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk ‘Public Access’ pages (planning reference: DC/13/3069/OUT) or view the application at the Town Hall (by appointment). All letters of objection (or otherwise) should be sent to the Case Officer: Mrs Liz Beighton, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Melton Hill, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AU quoting reference: DC/13/3069/OUT or an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Update: Many thanks to all those who attended the SCDC meeting on the 6th February 2014. The local community put forward a strong and comprehensive case as to why dwellings should not be built on this site. Unfortunately, however, the final decision was 6 for and 3 against the application. Please note, therefore, that outline planning permission has been granted to build up to 200 dwellings on this land. This site will continue to add further updates concerning this application.
Update: The decision making meeting will take place at: SCD Council, Melton Hill, Woodbridge at 9:00 am on 6th February 2014. Please try to attend as strong community support (as seen at the Towns Plans Committee on the 4th November 2013) will make a difference. Parking is available at Melton Hill but is very limited. If you are able to commit to attending and wish to register your interest, or can offer transport, please contact Gill Mason asap. Email: email@example.com or Telephone: 01394 274331.
Councillor Doreen Savage is entitled to attend and address the meeting on the 6th February. Please email her and request that she publicly reiterates her opposition to the application. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: The housing developers have amended the application and withdrawn the eastern access at the WW11 Pill Box. The new plan only consists of one entrance, by the footpath in Ferry Road (click on Revised Plan to see New Plan). Suffolk Coastal District Council are inviting comments on the new amendment but stress that any previous objections remain valid and will be available to councillors when they consider the application. You, therefore, only need to respond again if you object to the withdrawal of the eastern access and (or) have comments concerning the proposed one access. For example, the proposed access will increase traffic movements along Ferry Road, Colneis Road and Church Road, which will invariably cause traffic issues.
Please send or email your letter of objection to Mrs Liz Beighton, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Melton Hill, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AU or email email@example.com quoting reference DC/13/3069/OUT. In all correspondence you are required to include your full name, address, email address, date, application reference, and the case officers name and signature. All new letters of objection are to be received by SCDC no later than 30th December 2013. Your comments are not treated as confidential and will be available for public inspection. For more information concerning the formality of this procedure please refer to this site’s guidelines for preparing a letter of objection (or refer to the SCDC or the Felixstowe Society’s websites). Also lobby your local councillor: Councillor Doreen Savage (firstname.lastname@example.org). Further information concerning the proposed Ferry Road housing development can be obtained from the planning case officer, Mrs Liz Beighton telephone: 01394 444778 or email Liz.email@example.com
Town Council Plans Meeting 4th November 2013. A Town Council plans meeting was held on Monday 4th November 2013 at Walton Community Hall. Many thanks to all those who attended. Public attendance was good and reflected a strong sense of community feeling concerning this proposal. OUTCOME: The Town Council did not support the planning application (as submitted) with 6 votes to 2. This decision was based on issues such as density of housing, site access, poor transport links and problems concerning drainage. The proposal was also deemed as contrary to current local and district planning policies. The planning application will next be considered by the District Council (on a date yet to be announced) when a final decision will be made. NOTE: The District Council plans committee consists of 9 councillors (2 are from Felixstowe). Of these 2, Councillor K Williams voted against and Councillor A Smith in favour. So, therefore, still a lot of campaigning is required to convince the District Council that the site is inappropriate for a housing development.
This website gives some information on the proposed plan of the housing development and looks at some of the issues concerning this development. Included is also some advice on how to write a letter of formal objection.
At a public exhibition in July 2012, 93% of local residents objected to the proposals for, one or more, of the following reasons:
The housing development will be distant from health services, public transport, shops and high schools and therefore having a car will be essential. 200 new homes could produce 300+ more cars and 1000 more vehicle movements each day. Within five years our local roads will be expected to support 2000+ extra vehicle movements each day.
Extra traffic will potentially create a safety risk for local residents and school children. Local residents and children going to and from school will need to negate an increase in higher levels of traffic.
Construction vehicles will, over a prolonged period, also cause significant traffic issues.
The cramming of homes on this development is totally out of keeping with the surrounding area. To put the scale into context, the South Seafront development (an area identified as a priority for regeneration) has twice the acreage and half the number of homes proposed for Ferry road.
The existing sewerage system is inadequate, causing an unpleasant stench and sewage problems for some residents throughout Old Felixstowe. We are told there are no plans to upgrade the sewage system for the new homes.
The development will be accessed by a narrow country road without pavements. The developers say no realignment of the road is necessary, therefore residents’ safety will be compromised.
The area is used by dog walkers, joggers, ramblers, horse riders and cyclists for recreational purposes. It provides a necessary leisure alternative to the traditional seafront for residents and visitors to enjoy.
The fields are high-grade agricultural land and are needed for essential local food production.
The site borders an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, forming part of the buffer zone between the Deben Estuary and the urban landscape. As such, it offers a “green lung” to balance light and noise pollution from the Port.
Suffolk Coastal Council is committed to building 1700 new homes on our peninsula by 2025. If the developers get permission to build on these two fields, we have evidence that Optima Land and Development will also propose to develop the land behind Conway Close and Swallow Close. This setting a precedent for further housing development to take place.
Guidelines for Preparing a Letter of Objection:
Give your full name and address and email address. Anonymous letters of objection will not be considered.
Date your letter.
State the planning application reference: DC/13/3069/OUT.
State the address of the name and address of the authority dealing with the application (Suffolk District Council, Woodbridge).
Include the name of the planning officer dealing with the application: Ms Liz Beighton.
Identify the site (land at Ferry Road, Felixstowe).
Indicate clearly whether you are supporting or opposing the application.
State you interest in the proposed development (such as neighbour, resident, parent etc).
Clearly and briefly set out your objections to the application.
Sign your letter.
Send your letter to: (a) By post: Ms Liz Beighton, Suffolk District Council, Melton Hill, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AU. On the front of the envelope print the planning application reference: DC/13/3069/OUT. (b) By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (again quote planning reference).
SOME ISSUES WHICH ARE NOT CONSIDERED AS RELEVANT OBJECTIONS TO A PLANNING APPLICATION:
Loss of market value of your property or surrounding properties.
Loss of your view.
Personal circumstances (such as health issues).
The fact that you are a long standing resident.
IN YOUR OWN WORDS YOU MAY WISH TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING REASONS IN A LETTER OF OBJECTION:
SIZE AND SCALE OF DEVELOPMENT: The large size and density of the proposed development of up to 200 homes is not in size and scale with pre-existing properties and is therefore incongruous to the local area.
AREA OF OUTSTANDING BEAUTY: The site currently forms part of the buffer zone designed to protect the adjacent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AOB). If built upon this may have an adverse effect on the protection of the AOB.
WILDLIFE: The site is currently home to a variety of wildlife (such as owls, birds of prey, bats, hares, badgers). The development will disturb and endanger the natural habitat of such wildlife.
VISUAL IMPACT: The site is on high ground and as such the housing development will be seen from the River Deben Valley (as far north as Ramsholt), causing adverse visual impact on a sensitive and protected area.
LOCATION AND TRAFFIC DENSITY: The site is 1.5 miles from the town centre and railway station and a long walk to a bus stop. The main town employer, the port, is approximately 4.5 miles away. The only viable means of travel is by car. In this case, 200 homes may create an extra 1000 car movements per day on Ferry Road, Colneis Road and Gulpher Road.
ROAD SAFETY ISSUES: The site includes 2 access/exit points onto Ferry Road. In particular, Ferry Road and Gulpher road are awkward narrow lanes and therefore unsuitable for a huge increase in traffic. The increase in traffic, especially in Ferry Road, may create serious road safety issues. In addition, schools local to the site (both Kingsfleet School (Ferry Road) and Colneis School) during their peak times may also encounter serious road traffic issues.
FURTHER ROAD SAFETY ISSUES: During the actual build of the development heavy vehicles visiting and exiting the site will cause further road safety issues.
RECREATIONAL AMENITY: The land and surrounding area is currently used for a number of outdoor activities (such as rambling, runners, cyclists, horse riders and dog walkers) and as such promotes health and well-being. Outdoor activities also create a sense of community.
LOSS OF AGRICULTURAL LAND: The land is high quality agricultural land and (as part of our UK food production) is needed to grow crops.
NOISE, AIR AND LIGHT POLLUTION: All three will occur during the build and thereafter.
DRAINAGE AND SEWERS: The proposed development has no plan to improve the existing drainage system which already suffers from an overload.
YOU MAY WISH TO REMIND COUNCILLORS THAT:
At the Public Exhibition in July 2012, 92% of those who expressed an opinion did not support the modified proposals.
Although there may be a need for additional housing, greenfield sites should only be used as a last resort.
The District Council has previously identified many other sites in Felixstowe that are suitable for a housing development.
Interim planning policy (the LFD Core Strategy) requires all new large-scale developments to be sustainable in terms of easy access to public transport and new employment opportunities at the Port. This proposal does not meet those requirements.
If this application is granted then the fields towards Park Farm will be under threat. On the 25th August 2011 an email was sent from a District Council Officer to JCN Design advising them to ‘hold off’ on their other site (bounded by Gulpher Road, Park Farm and Ferry Road) and ‘test the water’ with this one. It is clear that the developers already have plans for other fields in the area.
Also, copy your letter to East Ward Councillors and let them know your views on this issue. By post to Felixstowe Town Councillors, Town Hall, Undercliff Road West, Felixstowe, IP11 2AG.
Email: Doreen Savage: email@example.com
Chris Slemmings: firstname.lastname@example.org
Graham Newman: email@example.com
Felixstowe Town Council will be consulted on the proposed development. Councillor Doreen Savage is a member of the Town Council’s Plans Committee and (as such) will be entitled to vote as to whether this development be recommended to go ahead.