Suffolk Coastal Local Plan - Final Draft

Final Draft Local Plan

12 Strategy for Felixstowe

Key Statistics for Felixstowe

1. Data sources provided in Appendix I – Glossary and Acronyms [back]

12.20 Felixstowe is the largest settlement in Suffolk Coastal. It is located on a peninsula bounded by the River Deben, River Orwell and the North Sea. The peninsula contains areas designated as being of national and international importance for landscape, the environment and nature conservation.

12.21 The town serves many important functions in respect of community and education provision alongside a range of shopping opportunities and facilities for the residents of Felixstowe and the surrounding communities. Felixstowe also benefits from its coastal location and retains an attractive resort with access to the beach providing a range of complementary resort attractions and traditional seaside activities, alongside a rich architectural heritage and quality buildings. Felixstowe is also home to the largest container port in the country which provides a variety of economic opportunities and jobs locally as well as supporting the national and international economies.

12.22 Felixstowe is a town with many different characteristics and the Local Plan seeks to retain and enhance this unique community. The town is well served by a successful town centre with a low level of vacant units and provides a mixture of national and independent retailers and enterprises. It is anticipated that over the plan period there will be further opportunities for social interaction and appropriate residential developments.

12.23 The sea front location is attractive and appeals to a wide variety of residents and visitors. The contrast of activities and attractions caters for all sectors of the tourism industry which is of great benefit to the town and the rest of the District. In recent years, significant regeneration and investment has taken place in the Spa Pavilion, Pier head, Seafront Gardens, Promenade and coastal defences which have been successful. Over the plan period, the success of these regeneration projects and investment will be realised alongside future opportunities.

12.24 Car parking provision is spread across Felixstowe with a variety of short and long term facilities targeted at meeting the needs of residents, visitors to the town centre and resort. In peak periods, the car parking provision can be stretched and requires on street opportunities to be utilised. Over the plan period, opportunities to improve the car parking provision through redevelopment of existing sites (including multi storey) will be encouraged to support the vitality of Felixstowe.

12.25 Land to the north and south west of Felixstowe is designated as being of national and international importance for its landscape and nature conservation interests. Over the plan period opportunities to enhance design, landscaping and green spaces will be realised which take account of the town setting and protected landscapes. Alongside the countryside locations, the sea as well as the River Deben and River Orwell provide an important and valued backdrop to the town for both residents and visitors.

12.26 The Port of Felixstowe and businesses associated with the port provide a significant amount of employment opportunities and this is seen in the high volume of commuting flows into the town. Over the plan period, it is fundamental that the operations of the Port of Felixstowe are maintained and economic opportunities realised, but widening the range of employment opportunities in Felixstowe is also encouraged. Providing a wider range of employment opportunities in the town will ensure that the local economy becomes more resilient and continues to thrive.

12.27 In recent years, Felixstowe has experienced a number of public and private regeneration initiatives and projects which have had a positive effect on the town and resort. However parts of the town experience significant levels of deprivation with some areas being in the 10% most deprived areas in the country. Over the plan period, opportunities to address the levels of deprivation will be welcomed to provide a sustainable future for communities across the town.

12.28 The town has good transport links through the A14 and rail access. Both are vital to the operation of the Port of Felixstowe as well as to residents and visitors. However, the geographical location at the end of the peninsula means there are no suitable alternative routes, particularly for the HGV traffic when the A14 is closed. Maintaining the flow of the traffic along the A14 is vital for the Port of Felixstowe and the rest of town. Rail services are made up of passenger and freight traffic which provide an alternative to the road and it is essential that increased capacity on the railway line is realised. Over the plan period, the Council will continue to promote improvements to the A14 and passenger and freight rail services where appropriate due to their regional, national and international importance in conjunction with partner organisations such as Highways England, Suffolk County Council, Network Rail and Greater Anglia.

12.29 Felixstowe, like many other parts of Suffolk Coastal has an ageing population. Over the plan period, residential opportunities will be focussed on providing for the needs of the ageing population through appropriate accommodation. However, this must be balanced by the need to provide accommodation for younger generations who wish to continue to live in the area. Increasing numbers of people are looking outside of Felixstowe for careers and housing, and this Local Plan seeks to address this issue by providing appropriate housing and employment opportunities over the plan period.

 

Policy SCLP12.2: Strategy for Felixstowe

The vision for Felixstowe will be to retain its role as a thriving coastal resort and major centre with a comprehensive range of services and facilities which supports the community of Felixstowe and the neighbouring settlements on the Peninsula. Infrastructure improvements are required over the plan period to meet future needs as well as enhancing the quality of life of existing communities and visitors.

Over the plan period a thriving seaside town and port which is attractive to residents of all ages, and welcoming to visitors who wish to experience the town's beautiful coastal location, built heritage, vibrant and diverse retail centre and healthy outdoor lifestyle will be achieved.

The strategy will seek to ensure that:

a) Employment opportunities are maintained to support the operations of the Port of Felixstowe and a wider range of employment types including tourism and technology related enterprises and sites are provided across the town;

b) Services and facilities support the needs of local residents, visitors and those in surrounding communities;

c) Areas of deprivation are supported through positive interventions;

d) Dementia friendly environments are created throughout the town;

e) The town centre and district centres maintain vibrant and successful shopping, retail and commercial leisure opportunities;

f) Links between the town centre and the sea front are enhanced including the completion of Shared Space on Hamilton Road;

g) The resort continues to flourish and opportunities for regeneration and additional tourist attractions are brought forward;

h) Car parking provision is maintained and enhanced through redevelopment opportunities to serve residents, visitors and tourists

i) The rich built heritage is maintained and measures are introduced to enhance the two Conservation Areas in the town;

j) The protected habitats and designated landscapes are protected from inappropriate development and access to the countryside is enhanced;

k) The risk of flooding and coastal erosion is carefully overseen through partnership working, mitigation and management;

l) Residential opportunities are provided to meet the needs in particular of younger people entering the housing market and those of an ageing population and changing demographic over the plan period; and

m) Open spaces are preserved, enhanced or otherwise re-provided to ensure that all residents have easy access to informal recreational green space.

The creation of the North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood will provide new opportunities for a leisure centre, housing, employment, education provision and community facilities, focused around the principles of a safe and inclusive community, and integration with the town and the surrounding countryside through enhancing green infrastructure networks.

North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood

 199 North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood

12.30 The previous Local Plan (Core Strategy and Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan) sought to ensure that Felixstowe will be further enhanced as a thriving community, coastal resort and port with a mix of employment and housing opportunities attractive to residents of all ages and welcoming to visitors. The North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood encompasses 143ha, a comprehensive development of which is expected to deliver a leisure led development, provide up to 2,000 dwellings incorporating dwellings for older and younger people, affordable housing and self-build plots.

12.31 Land at Candlet Road was granted outline planning permission for 560 dwellings by the Secretary of State in 2017 and it is anticipated that additional housing will also be provided in this area to complement this existing provision, based upon the principles of establishing a Garden Neighbourhood. The master planning approach will ensure that the Candlet Road site is an integral part of the development.

Master plan approach

12.32 It is essential that this Local Plan retains the principles of the previous Local Plan and the Council considers that in order to do this there is an opportunity to take a master plan approach informed by public engagement and land owner collaboration. A master plan will seek, to deliver a leisure led sustainable garden neighbourhood to the north of the existing built up area of Felixstowe. Landowner collaboration and partnership working with a range of stakeholders such as Suffolk County Council, Felixstowe Town Council, Trimley St Mary Parish Council, Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB unit and community groups will be required. A master plan approach covering the whole site will be used to inform individual planning applications for parcels of land as they come forward over the plan period.

12.33 The existing Felixstowe Leisure Centre and Brackenbury Sports Centre are coming to the end of their operational life and the Council considers it necessary to redevelop these existing facilities with a new purpose built modern facility which will serve the community for future generations. As well as being able to provide a destination facility to attract tourists and visitors to Felixstowe. As part of the Suffolk Coastal District Council Leisure Redevelopment Programme, the purpose of which is to increase participation in health and well being activities across the District a new leisure centre as part of the Garden Neighbourhood will meet future needs. The creation of new leisure facilities will be delivered as part of the programme which provides redevelopment opportunities at Brackenbury Sports Centre (Policy SCLP12.5) and Felixstowe Leisure Centre (Policy SCLP12.16).

12.34 In spring 2018, the District Council undertook a public consultation survey as a provider of leisure facilities. Individuals who currently use the existing facilities in Felixstowe, as well as sports groups and local organisations provided responses to this consultation. Many respondents to the consultation felt the current facilities were inadequate with 68% identifying that they travelled to the existing leisure centre by car. The consultation asked what people used the existing facilities for and the most common responses were swimming for leisure and keeping fit, gym use, exercise classes and racket sports. The feedback from the consultation will inform the future provision of facilities at a new modern facility. A new modern facility will significantly improve the recreational facilities available to the local community as well as reducing the need for old facilities to be closed for a significant period of time should redevelopment of existing provision take place on existing sites.

12.35 To the north of Felixstowe, some areas are designated as part of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and provide an attractive landscape on the edge of the River Deben. To complement the landscape designation, it is essential that the master plan development proposed for this area includes significant green infrastructure provision and areas of natural green space for recreation. Integrating the provision of appropriate green infrastructure is a fundamental part of the creation of a new Garden Neighbourhood in Felixstowe and will complement the existing areas, the public rights of way and the adjacent countryside.

12.36 The Grove Woodland which comprises broad leaved semi natural woodland has many veteran trees and is an important area for wildlife and biodiversity along with the playing pitches and open space at Eastward Ho. The Grove Woodland and Eastward Ho are well used recreational and community facilities for the residents of Felixstowe. Consultation responses have highlighted the importance of these existing areas and through the master planning process these areas are to be retained for continued community uses, biodiversity and ecological importance. Although the land at Eastward Ho provides open space and recreational activities in the form of playing pitches the quality of these is below what might be expected within a Garden Neighbourhood. As part of the master plan process, opportunities to improve the quality and amount of recreational provision will be explored in conjunction with stakeholders.

12.37 The Garden Neighbourhood is within close proximity to a number of European protected sites including the Stour and Orwell Estuaries SPA/Ramsar and the Deben Estuary SPA/Ramsar. The Habitats Regulations Assessment has identified that the Garden Neighbourhood requires the provision of "Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace" (SANG) areas to mitigate any potential impact on the protected sites in the District. These areas provide an alternative on-site recreational opportunity for walkers with or without dogs which reduces the visitor pressure on the European protected sites and address any likely adverse effects. The SANG requirements need to be central to the design and layout of the Garden Neighbourhood and provided in convenient locations which are easy to access. Walking routes which can utilise the existing network of public rights of way need to provide opportunity for a long and exhilarating circular walk as an alternative to the nearby estuary environments. The size of the SANG areas for the Garden Neighbourhood is to be informed by locally relevant information and further provision of natural green space throughout the master plan in accordance with the Habitats Regulations and the principles of Garden Cities. Development will also be expected to contribute to the Recreation Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy.

12.38 The services and facilities outlined as part of the master plan will in part be provided through the statutory responsibilities of service providers and landowners, but to assist the timely delivery of these they will need to be supported by residential development.

Creating a community

12.39 Felixstowe is well served in respect of community facilities, such as meeting places, places of worship, sports facilities and health care provision. However with a comprehensive master plan it will be essential that residents have access to appropriate community facilities and key services such as policing are provided and integrated into the Garden Neighbourhood, with contributions provided to help improve and enhance existing facilities throughout Felixstowe. As the master plan evolves the Council will work with the local community, landowners and service providers to ensure the delivery of appropriate facilities over the plan period. Through a master plan approach, the opportunity is available to consider the enhancement, extension or re-provision of existing facilities such as playing fields and public rights of way which are currently found on the site.

12.40 In January 2018, Felixstowe became a dementia friendly town. Through the Felixstowe Dementia Action Alliance set up in 2015 the aim is to make Felixstowe a dementia friendly community by engaging with local businesses and organisations to deliver person centred outcomes in a timely fashion. Across Felixstowe organisations and businesses are working to identify and implement improvements to assist those with dementia in the town.

12.41 A range of dwelling types and tenures will be required in accordance with housing policies in this Local Plan. The opportunity exists to meet the needs of local people and re-establish higher standards of building design which takes into account modern environmental and energy efficient standards to create a healthy community. Dwellings targeted at younger people as well as those which meet the needs of the ageing population will be delivered as part of a mix of affordable housing and open market housing. The master plan approach should also provide for self-build dwellings.

12.42 The delivery of some higher density residential areas can introduce a variety of designs or different character areas into the neighbourhood, whilst still incorporating green infrastructure and green spaces.

12.43 Any new residential development, places a greater demand on the early years provision, primary and secondary school places in the area. Suffolk County Council as local education authority has identified a need for further education provision across Felixstowe[2] . Through the creation of a master plan, the Council along with Suffolk County Council will seek to ensure that appropriate provision to accommodate 630 primary school places and early years settings within the Garden Neighbourhood. The exact location of the primary school provision and early years settings will need to be considered early in the master planning stages, subject to further engagement with Suffolk County Council and landowners so that it takes into account the design and layout of the master plan which is yet to be prepared.

12.44 Depending on the rate of delivery associated with the master plan development, the Council will work in partnership with Suffolk County Council to ensure that sufficient capacity for secondary education provision in Felixstowe is maintained over the plan period. Felixstowe Academy currently provides provision for secondary education in the town, but over the plan period will require improvements to ensure sufficient capacity is maintained. A contribution via the Community Infrastructure Levy will be required towards improvements at Felixstowe Academy.

12.45 This site falls within the catchment of Felixstowe library which has been identified as a library where improvements are necessary to enhance provision, as set out in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework. A contribution will be requested through the Community Infrastructure Levy towards the improvement of library provision as identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

Integration and connectivity

12.46 An important aspect of any master plan development of this scale is to ensure that the relationship between the existing community and the new Garden Neighbourhood is seamless and connections between can be easily navigated through a choice of walking, cycling and vehicular routes.

12.47 Integrating new connections with the existing network of roads and footpaths will provide opportunities to enhance the area and encourage ease of movement for all. The area to be master planned is in close proximity to established areas of residential development, community facilities such as the Grove Medical Centre & Pharmacy, railway station and the town centre. Fundamental to the success of any master plan is to ensure that the local community can access existing services and facilities as well as those which will be created over the plan period. Taking a comprehensive approach to facilities and ensuring that links connecting the new Garden Neighbourhood are attractive to use, secure, well designed and implemented at the start of the development will be beneficial to creating a successful community.

12.48 Currently Candlet Road is the northern boundary of Felixstowe and as such is anticipated to provide the primary vehicular access points into the areas to be master planned. It is anticipated that a site of this size will require multiple access point for vehicular traffic as well as further links provided solely for walking and cycling. Opportunities to create a network of vehicular and non vehicular (pedestrian and cycling) links throughout the Garden Neighbourhood are to be explored to provide interconnectivity and free movement through the site and beyond. New vehicular junctions will need to be established to provide access from Candlet Road and ensure that Gulpher Road which is a designated 'Quiet Lane' is not used for vehicular access. The Council will work closely with landowners, Suffolk County Council and Highways England to establish the most appropriate highway access points. In terms of the wider highways network, transport modelling has identified potential issues at Dockspur roundabout and the A14 corridor and developers will be expected to work with Highways England to ensure that any necessary works are provided for. Transport modelling has also identified potential capacity issues at junctions on Garrison Lane. A Transport Assessment will need to consider the specific impacts and mitigation further. In relation to promoting rail travel, Greater Anglia have highlighted the need for development proposals to contribute to the accessibility of rail stations and the quality of its ancillary facilities and to enhance the visitor experience. In this respect, a contribution relating to Felixstowe rail station may be required.

12.49 Opportunities to provide off road cycle paths are encouraged to increase recreational opportunities for active lifestyles as well as making provision to access employment sites (such as the Port of Felixstowe, SCLP12.7 and Innocence Farm, SCLP12.35) through sustainable forms of travel.

12.50 Introducing a comprehensive approach to green infrastructure will allow the biodiversity networks to be enhanced both through natural processes and any management techniques that may be introduced over the plan period. Guidance from Public Health England is clear that access to the natural environment improves physical and mental health and wellbeing for communities. Open space provision at the Garden Neighbourhood should be integrated across the development and enable people of all ages to be active.

12.51 Currently the green infrastructure and biodiversity networks in Felixstowe are supported by the allotments which are owned by Felixstowe Town Council. As well as making a valuable contribution to the biodiversity network in this part of the District, the allotments provide a successful community facility in a location well related to the existing Felixstowe communities. Through the master plan it will be important to consider the contribution the allotments make to the environment and community well being. The master plan approach provides the opportunity to consider the enhancement and/or increased provision of allotments to serve the existing and future residents of Felixstowe.

12.52 A Heritage Impact Assessment has been undertaken to assess the sensitivity of the heritage surrounding the site to development. The assessment has highlighted that there are a number of Listed Buildings outside but in close proximity to the northern boundary of the site, notably the Grade II Listed Candlet Farmhouse, Gulpher Hall and Park Farm Cottages. Development of the site will need to ensure that any potential harm to the setting of these buildings is mitigated through the retention of open spaces and important views.

Comprehensively delivering sustainable development

12.53 To ensure that the Garden Neighbourhood accords with the principles of sustainable development, consultation feedback and evidence has highlighted a variety of site specific issues that need to be considered as the master plan evolves.

12.54 Areas of surface water flooding currently exist within the site and an area within the northern part of the site is within Flood Zone 2. The development will need to ensure that any potential risk of flooding from surface water is addressed and that Sustainable Drainage Systems are an integral part of the master plan through Holistic Water Management. Focusing the development away from the northernmost parts of the site will help to address this, whilst also avoiding the most sensitive areas in landscape and nature conservation terms. Any proposals for development must be accompanied by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment.

12.55 This allocation spans an area of high archaeological potential and sensitivity, with Prehistoric, Roman, Early Saxon, Medieval and other multiperiod remains across the area. Development here will undoubtedly have an impact on archaeological sites. It has not been subject to systematic evaluation, but information in the Historic Environment Record records significant cropmarks, indicating remains. In the western part of the site, this may include a barrow cemetery. Roman and multiperiod remains indicate a site in the northern part of the allocation. World War 2 features may also constitute non- designated assets under the National Planning Policy Framework. Suffolk County Council have highlighted that an archaeological assessment should be required to inform a masterplan, to inform viability of schemes, mitigation requirements and conservation in situ of significant remains. Any mitigation should involve outreach proposals.

12.56 Additional floorspace for primary care will need to be provided to meet growth planned in the Felixstowe area and therefore a contribution through the Community Infrastructure Levy will be required towards enhancements in provision. Strategic planning in consultation with the NHS and Ipswich & East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group will also be required.

12.57 Suffolk Constabulary have identified the need for funding for new police facilities as detailed in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework, incorporating new floor space at the Felixstowe Safer Neighbourhood Team Police Offices, Police Community Support Officers, equipment and police vehicles.

12.58 There are existing water mains and sewers in Anglian Water's ownership within the boundary of the master plan. Individual development parcels will need to give this consideration when bringing forward detailed proposals and the layout should be designed to take these into account. The existing infrastructure is protected by easements and should not be built over or located in private gardens where access for maintenance and repair could be restricted. The existing sewers should be located in highways or public open space. If this is not possible a formal application to divert Anglian Water's existing assets may be required.

12.59 Development proposals at Felixstowe should have regard to the findings of the Suffolk Coastal & Ipswich Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study which indicates capacity limitations at Felixstowe Water Recycling Centre. Evidence will be required to demonstrate how capacity will be made available in time to serve proposed development. Over the plan period the Council will work with Anglian Water to ensure that improvements funded through the Anglian Water Asset Management Plan are delivered in a timely manner alongside the delivery of the Garden Neighbourhood. Solutions will need to be considered at the masterplanning stage.

12.60 The site is located within a Minerals Consultation Area as defined by Suffolk County Council as the Minerals Planning Authority. Therefore any planning application should be supported by evidence which assesses the quality and quantity of sand and gravel resources. Planning applications should be supported by evidence considering the suitability for prior extraction having regard to the Suffolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan and other material considerations. Should the site be considered suitable for prior extraction, having regard to the evidence submitted together with advice from the Minerals Planning Authority, any planning permission for development will be conditioned to take place in phases which allow for prior extraction of some or all of the economic resource.

12.61 The illustration below shows how the Garden Neighbourhood could be developed, and demonstrates the principles of creating a community focused around provision of green infrastructure. The masterplan is indicative at this stage and further refinement of the masterplan will be informed by responses to the Local Plan and community engagement.

205 North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood Indicative draft masterplan

North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood – Indicative draft masterplan

Policy SCLP12.3: North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood

Approximately 143ha of land is identified for a Garden Neighbourhood to the north of Felixstowe and Trimley St Mary, as shown on the Policies Map, for a comprehensive leisure led development comprising leisure, green infrastructure, community facilities and employment land alongside residential development comprising a mix of housing types, sizes and tenures in a design which creates a dementia friendly environment. This new development will be delivered through a master plan approach brought forward through landowner collaboration and community engagement.

Critical to the success of this development will be the integration of the new Garden Neighbourhood with the existing community of Felixstowe and surrounding area, as well as taking into account the location of the site adjacent to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB and its setting.

The Master Plan should be informed by community engagement and include:

a) A new leisure centre in a location which is easily accessible for the existing community;

b) Provision of 630 primary school spaces and early years provision;

c) Protection of the Grove Woodland and Eastward Ho recreational areas along with appropriate green infrastructure provision to provide accessible natural green space and retention and enhancement of the natural features on the site such as trees, woodland and hedgerows to be incorporated into the layout of the development;

d) Appropriate open space provision for both informal and formal recreational opportunities through retained space, re-provision, enhancement or new provision.

e) Public rights of way on the site should be preserved and enhanced, and opportunities sought to maintain and provide access to the countryside;

f) Project level Habitats Regulations Assessment will be required, and requirements for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace to be provided;

g) Biodiversity networks and habitats to be preserved and enhanced, including measures to enhance biodiversity within housing areas;

h) Setting of Listed Buildings in proximity to the site to be preserved;

i) Proportionate archaeological assessment;

j) A site-specific Flood Risk Assessment;

k) Evidence is required to demonstrate there is adequate Water Recycling Centre capacity or that capacity can be made available;

l) Community Hub comprising a variety of services and facilities* to be created in accessible locations;

m) Provision of new vehicular access points off Candlet Road and/or improvements to existing accesses supported by further access for pedestrian and cycle traffic in other locations;

n) Design and layout that supports inclusive use and a dementia friendly environment;

o) Consideration of the existing water mains and sewers in Anglian Water's ownership which influence the design of the Garden Neighbourhood following the principles of Holistic Water Management;

p) Employment land for high quality non-port related small business units;

q) Retirement dwellings comprising care home extra care / sheltered dwellings; and

r) Up to 2,000 dwellings (including 560 with outline planning permission, as shown on the Policies Map), providing a mix of dwelling types, sizes and tenures including housing to meet the specialised housing needs of older, younger and vulnerable people and self-build plots, and provision of affordable housing.

The necessary off-site infrastructure requirements, including health provision and police facilities will be required through developer contributions and water recycling upgrades undertaken by Anglian Water through the Asset Management Plan.

Any necessary off-site transport improvements will need to be provided to the satisfaction of Suffolk County Council and where appropriate Highways England, informed by a Transport Assessment.

* for the purposes of this policy services and facilities could include convenience store, shops, meeting places, education facilities, care facilities and medical facilities.

2. Need identified in the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan (2017) along with Statements of Case prepared for the Candlet Road Planning Inquiry (2016). [back]

Area specific policies for Felixstowe

Land North of Conway Close and Swallow Close, Felixstowe

208 Land North of Conway Close and Swallow Close, Felixstowe

12.62 This allocation is carried forward from the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan Development Plan Document (2017). This site is allocated for development of approximately 150 dwellings.

12.63 The properties on Conway Close, Swallow Close and Upperfield Drive currently define the edge of the built up area of Old Felixstowe with countryside to the north. The land to the north of Conway Close and Swallow Close can provide a natural extension to the built form of Felixstowe without causing a detrimental impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or important views of the Deben Estuary.

12.64 As the current properties define the edge of the built up area, it will be important to ensure that future development on this site is sympathetic to the size and scale of the existing properties. Old Felixstowe is predominately 1 or 2 storey buildings and as this site is bordered by countryside it is appropriate to retain the low rise nature of the area.

12.65 The Suffolk Coastal Leisure Strategy (2014) and the evidence base supporting that document identifies that all new development which results in an increase in the number of dwellings should contribute towards the provision of open space. Open space provision can take many different forms and facilities can differ from site to site but may include parks and gardens, amenity green space, allotments, play areas, footpaths or dog walking areas. Developers will be required to consider local needs and requirements as part of their proposals alongside the nationally published standards of 2.4ha per 1000 population, and will be expected to make provision for people of all ages to be active.

12.66 Along with a sympathetic design to reflect the edge of the built up area, Historic England advise that the layout and design will need to be sympathetic to Park Farm Cottages which is a Grade II Listed Building to the west of the site.

12.67 The site lies in an area that is topographically favourable for early occupation, with Bronze Age ring ditches to the north and cropmark evidence of field systems. Archaeological finds on the site to the east suggest that extensive remains may be found on this site. Suffolk County Council have highlighted that an Archaeological Assessment is to be undertaken at an appropriate design stage prior to the granting of outline, technical details or full planning permission.

12.68 Links to the existing Public Rights of Way network from new developments are key to promoting sustainable forms of travel, as well as providing circular routes for recreational purposes. Upgrading Footpath 8 should be given consideration to ensure greater connectivity through the proposed site.

12.69 In 2014, an outline planning application was permitted (DC/13/3069/OUT) which provides for up to 200 units on an adjacent site. In order to understand the cumulative impacts of both sites coming forward with access onto Ferry Road, Suffolk County Council as highways authority will require a Transport Assessment to be undertaken and submitted as part of a future planning application. Part of this Transport Assessment will also need to consider the impact the development would have on Gulpher Road which has been designated as 'Quiet Lane' by Suffolk County Council.

12.70 The site is adjacent to the proposed North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood and this site should be designed in a way which enables it to be integrated through appropriate access for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists with the Garden Neighbourhood.

12.71 Kingsfleet Primary School is forecast to be over capacity during the first five years of the plan period. A new primary school will be delivered as part of the North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood with the potential to provide capacity for 630 spaces. A contribution towards additional school spaces will be required as detailed in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework. Felixstowe Academy currently provides provision for secondary education in the town, but over the plan period will require improvements to ensure sufficient capacity is maintained. A contribution will be requested via the Community Infrastructure Levy towards improvements at Felixstowe Academy.

12.72 Early years provision in Felixstowe is forecast to be over capacity and therefore a contribution towards the provision of a new setting will be required.

12.73 The Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group have advised that additional primary care floorspace will be required to meet the needs arising from new development, as detailed in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework. A contribution through the Community Infrastructure Levy towards additional primary care floorspace will be requested. Given the close proximity of this site to the proposed North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood, strategic planning in consultation with the NHS and Ipswich & East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group will also be required.

12.74 Development proposals at Felixstowe should have regard to the findings of the Suffolk Coastal & Ipswich Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study which indicates capacity limitations at Felixstowe Water Recycling Centre. Evidence will be required to demonstrate how capacity will be made available in time to serve the proposed development. The Water Cycle Study also identifies this site as being within Flood Zone 1. As the site area is over 1ha, any proposals for development must be accompanied by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment.

12.75 Suffolk County Council have indicated that there is no planned expansion of the Felixstowe household waste recycling centre; however, the development proposed in this area would result in an increase in throughput at this site and improvements are therefore required. A contribution will be required through the Community Infrastructure Levy towards the improvement of the centre as identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

12.76 Suffolk County Council have provided information relating to library improvements across the District. This site falls within the catchment of Felixstowe library which has been identified as a library where improvements are necessary to enhance provision, as set out in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework. A contribution will be requested through the Community Infrastructure Levy towards the improvement of library provision as identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

12.77 Greater Anglia have highlighted the need for development proposals to contribute to the accessibility of rail stations and the quality of its ancillary facilities and to enhance the visitor experience. In this respect, a contribution through the Community Infrastructure Levy relating to Felixstowe rail station may be required.

12.78 The Council's Environmental Protection Team have advised that an Air Quality Assessment would be required alongside any future planning application to assess the cumulative impacts of the developments in this part of Felixstowe.

 

Policy SCLP12.4: Land North of Conway Close and Swallow Close, Felixstowe

3.38ha of land to the north of Conway Close and Swallow Close as shown on the Policies Map, is identified for approximately 150 residential units. Development will be expected to accord with the following criteria:

a) Affordable housing provision to be in line with Policy SCLP5.10;

b) A site-specific Flood Risk Assessment;

c) A range of housing types (including bungalows) and tenures in keeping with surrounding area and in line with Policy SCLP5.8;

d) Highway design which provides for appropriate vehicular access to the Garden Neighbourhood;

e) Maximum building height of 2 storeys;

f) Development will need to be high quality and sympathetic to the surrounding character of the area and Listed Building at Park Farm Cottages to the west of the site;

g) On site open space and play facilities to meet needs identified in the SCDC Leisure Strategy and to provide opportunities for all ages to be active;

h) An Air Quality Assessment will be required, and any necessary mitigation provided;

i) An Archaeological Assessment is required;

j) Evidence is required to demonstrate there is adequate Water Recycling Centre capacity or that capacity can be made available;

k) Green infrastructure to be complementary to the green infrastructure provided at Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood;

l) Creating links to the existing public rights of way network including upgrading Footpath 8 so as to allow cycling and to provide a circular route; and

m) A financial contribution towards the provision of a new primary school and new early years settings in Felixstowe.

Land at Brackenbury Sports Centre

212 Land at Brackenbury Sports Centre

12.79 Land at Brackenbury Sports Centre is expected to become available over the plan period as a result of a new purpose built leisure facility as part of the Garden Neighbourhood to the north of Felixstowe. Upon the opening of a new leisure facility the site at Brackenbury may come forward for residential development of approximately 80 dwellings.

12.80 Brackenbury Sports Centre provides indoor sport facilities, outdoor courts, play areas, open space and car parking. Once the leisure uses have been relocated it will be essential that the play areas and open space are retained or redeveloped as part of a comprehensive scheme for this site in accordance with other policies in the Local Plan.

12.81 The site is adjacent to existing residential development with walking and cycling links connecting High Road East and High Row Field which is to be retained. The High Road East District Centre is adjacent to the site and this area provides a range of local services and shopping opportunities to support the local community. The site is also served by public transport services which provide direct links to Felixstowe Town Centre and other parts of the town. A Transport Assessment will need to consider the cumulative impacts of the development with other development in Felixstowe.

12.82 As previously developed land and well served by public transport and local facilities, the site has the potential to deliver higher density development which will widen the choice of residential units across the District. Development which provides units targeted at the ageing population will be welcomed as will the delivery of smaller units to provide a mix of residential opportunities which respect the surrounding Listed Buildings and residential uses.

12.83 The Council as landowner will work in partnership with the local community to ensure that the redevelopment of this site for residential uses is fully informed by public participation and addresses the need to provide appropriate housing to meet existing and future needs as outlined in the East Suffolk Business Plan.

12.84 Felixstowe Academy currently provides provision for secondary education in the town, but over the plan period will require improvements to ensure sufficient capacity is maintained. A contribution will be requested via the Community Infrastructure Levy towards improvements at Felixstowe Academy.

12.85 Early years provision in Felixstowe is forecast to be over capacity. There may be potential to expand existing settings however this site is expected to include provision of 0.1ha of land for a new early years setting if this is needed.

12.86 The Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group have advised that additional primary care floorspace will be required to meet the needs arising from new development, as detailed in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

12.87 Development proposals at Felixstowe should have regard to the findings of the Suffolk Coastal & Ipswich Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study which indicates capacity limitations at Felixstowe Water Recycling Centre. Evidence will be required to demonstrate how capacity will be made available in time to serve the proposed development.

12.88 The Water Cycle Study also identifies this site as being within Flood Zone 1. As the site area is over 1 ha, any proposals for development must be accompanied by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment.

12.89 Suffolk County Council have indicated that there is no planned expansion of the Felixstowe household waste recycling centre; however, the significant development proposed in this area equates to around 30% more throughput at this site and improvements are therefore required. A contribution will be requested towards the improvement of the centre as identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

12.90 Suffolk County Council have provided information relating to library improvements across the District. This site falls within the catchment of Felixstowe library which has been identified as a library where improvements are necessary to enhance provision, as set out in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework. A contribution through the Community Infrastructure Levy will be requested towards the improvement of library provision as identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

12.91 Greater Anglia have highlighted the need for development proposals to contribute to the accessibility of rail stations and the quality of its ancillary facilities and to enhance the visitor experience. In this respect, a contribution relating to Felixstowe rail station may be required.

 

Policy SCLP12.5: Land at Brackenbury Sports Centre

1.8ha of land on the site of Brackenbury Sports Centre, as shown on the Policies Map, is allocated for development of approximately 80 dwellings.

The re-development of this site will only come forward at a time when new leisure facilities have been brought into operation as part of the Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood.

Development will be expected to accord with the following criteria:

a) A mix of housing should be provided on the site including housing for older people and smaller starter home units;

b) Design and layout which promotes a dementia friendly environment;

c) Provision of affordable housing;

d) Retention of, and enhancements to, walking and cycling connections through the site;

e) Retention or enhancement of green spaces and play area;

f) Provision of 0.1ha of land for a new early years setting if needed;

g) A site-specific Flood Risk Assessment is required; and

h) Evidence is required to demonstrate there is adequate Water Recycling Centre capacity or that capacity can be made available.

Sunday Market Site, Sea Road, Felixstowe

215 Sunday Market Site, Sea Road, Felixstowe

12.92 This allocation is carried forward from the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan Development Plan Document (2017). The site is allocated for development of approximately 40 dwellings. The site at Sea Road, Felixstowe is a site of 0.58ha and is in a prime location on the sea front. The site is currently used for a market on a Sunday and as a temporary car park during the peak tourist periods.

12.93 The Sunday Market site is adjacent to Mannings Amusements which provides a leisure attraction for Felixstowe. Part of the site, is within Flood Zone 3 as seen on the Flood Risk maps published by Environment Agency and will be a material consideration as part of any future redevelopment proposals.

12.94 Public consultation responses considered it essential that commercial / tourism related activities on the frontage with Sea Road are retained. Retaining the commercial / tourism related activities on the frontage with residential dwellings above would reflect uses seen in other locations on the sea front.

12.95 The rear of the site is adjacent to existing residential properties on Micklegate Road and Beach Station Road. Redevelopment of this site needs to be sympathetic to the existing residential properties in respect of scale, setting and design to ensure that the quality of life of existing residents is safeguarded and that future uses on this site are complementary to the established uses.

12.96 The Sea Road frontage is dominated by tall buildings predominately 3 or 4 storeys high and a similar development would be in keeping with the existing streetscene. To ensure the comprehensive redevelopment of this site it is essential that commercial / tourism related activities are not prejudiced by the residential development in relation to issues such as noise, smell or air quality. The Council will expect evidence to be provided to demonstrate that the residential proposals are not to the detriment of the commercial / tourism related activities anticipated.

12.97 Suffolk County Council as local highways authority have advised that access to the site could be gained from Sea Road, Beach Station Road or Micklegate Road which provides flexibility when considering future schemes and proposals for the site. Car parking in the resort is an issue at peak periods and any development proposals will need to provide an appropriate level of parking provision to minimise the need for on street parking.

12.98 Early years provision in Felixstowe is forecast to be over capacity and therefore a contribution towards the provision of a new setting will be required.

12.99 Felixstowe Academy currently provides provision for secondary education in the town, but over the plan period will require improvements to ensure sufficient capacity is maintained. A contribution will be requested via the Community Infrastructure Levy towards improvements at Felixstowe Academy.

12.100 The Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group have advised that additional primary care floorspace will be required to meet the needs arising from new development, as detailed in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework. A contribution through the Community Infrastructure Levy towards additional primary care floorspace will be requested. Given the close proximity of this site to the proposed North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood, strategic planning in consultation with the NHS and Ipswich & East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group will also be required.

12.101 Development proposals at Felixstowe should have regard to the findings of the Suffolk Coastal & Ipswich Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study which indicates capacity limitations at Felixstowe Water Recycling Centre. Evidence will be required to demonstrate how capacity will be made available in time to serve the proposed development. The Water Cycle Study also identifies this site as being within an area of high tidal or fluvial flood risk. Any proposals for further development at this site must therefore have regard to this issue and be accompanied by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment.

12.102 The current Sunday Market provides an economic benefit to the Felixstowe Peninsula. Redevelopment of this site may result in the market being displaced. Relocating the market to an alternative location which is easily accessible and meets the needs of the market traders will need to be considered further by the Council, Felixstowe Town Council and landowners.

12.103 Suffolk County Council have indicated that there is no planned expansion of the Felixstowe household waste recycling centre; however, the development proposed in this area would result in an increase in throughput at this site and improvements are therefore required. A contribution will be required through the Community Infrastructure Levy towards the improvement of the centre as identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

12.104 Suffolk County Council have provided information relating to library improvements across the District. This site falls within the catchment of Felixstowe library which has been identified as a library where improvements are necessary to enhance provision, as set out in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework. A contribution through the Community Infrastructure Levy will be requested towards the improvement of library provision as identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Framework.

12.105 Greater Anglia have highlighted the need for development proposals to contribute to the accessibility of rail stations and the quality of its ancillary facilities and to enhance the visitor experience. In this respect, a contribution relating to Felixstowe rail station may be required.

 

Policy SCLP12.6: Land at Sea Road, Felixstowe

0.58ha of land at Sea Road, Felixstowe as shown on the Policies Map, is identified for a mixed use development of commercial / tourism uses and approximately 40 residential dwellings.

Development will be expected to accord with the following criteria:

a) Mixed use development site;

b) Sea Road frontage of the site to be retained for commercial / tourism related activities which are in keeping with the surrounding resort activities;

c) Affordable housing provision to be in line with Policy SCLP5.10;

d) Flood mitigation measures required including no residential accommodation on ground floor and ensuring a means of escape internally to a higher level, informed by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment;

e) A financial contribution towards the provision of new early years settings in Felixstowe;

f) Reduce nearby flood risk by attenuation of water on-site (if infiltration is not feasible);

g) Evidence is required to demonstrate there is adequate Water Recycling Centre capacity or that capacity can be made available;

h) Consideration needs to be given to relocation of the market; and

i) Confirmation of adequate capacity in the foul sewerage network or action to upgrade to create the required capacity. 

Port of Felixstowe

218 Port of Felixstowe

12.106 This allocation is carried forward from the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan Development Plan Document (2017). The site is identified for port related employment uses, Proposals for development relating to this site will also be considered against the employment policies in Chapter 4.

12.107 The previous Local Plan identified the Port of Felixstowe as a Strategic Employment Area because of its contribution to the sub-regional, national and international economies. As well as the operations within the Port itself, many businesses and organisations rely on the activities of the port for their own operations, such as shipping, logistics, distribution and transport companies which are common across the southern part of Suffolk Coastal.

12.108 Employment opportunities across the Felixstowe Peninsula are dominated by the Port of Felixstowe. The New Anglia LEP Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy (2017), outlines that 'Felixstowe is the UK's largest container port, handling 40% of the national container traffic.' The Port employs over 2,700 people directly and a further 10,000 jobs are based in related industries. In recent years the Port has undergone significant expansion and investment which has seen improvements to the railway connections, and further infrastructure has enabled the Port to handle the latest mega-vessels. However, it will be important to balance pressure on rail capacity to ensure quality rail services remain for both passenger and freight users.

12.109 The East Inshore and East Offshore Marine Plans[3] support port growth and development to protect the economic interest of the port whilst seeking to prevent development which may restrict the ability to respond to future growth opportunities that the Port of Felixstowe may consider.

12.110 The Employment Area allocation identifies the extent of large scale employment opportunities to meet both local and national needs. It has been defined to cover the majority of the port related activities which are currently located in this area through planning applications and lawful uses. It is bound primarily by the A14, the River Orwell and the railway line which provides a valuable alternative means of transportation and needs to be safeguarded to ensure continued economic prosperity.

12.111 The port related activities within the Employment Area benefit from being clustered in one location to make use of existing strategic infrastructure and opportunities, as well as minimising the negative impacts on residents and of other businesses. There is also an emphasis on retaining existing employment opportunities, and intensifying activities within the employment area. However, the demand for land within the port is always high and operations need to be flexible to cope with changing requirements and activities. In recent years the Port of Felixstowe has seen demands for additional space to enable increased productivity in respect of container storage and facilities associated with the Roll-on and Roll-off services that operate from Felixstowe.

12.112 Ensuring that there is sufficient infrastructure to support the Port of Felixstowe will be fundamental to the continued success of the Employment Area.

12.113 Alongside the policy for the Port of Felixstowe Policy SCLP12.35 of this plan also allocates a large area of land at Innocence Farm, close to Trimley St Martin and Kirton, for employment uses to support the continued viability of the Port of Felixstowe.

12.114 Alongside the port related activities, a number of small scale complementary uses are also found within the Employment Area. These complementary uses serve the needs of the Port and the businesses and support the economic activity in this area. Small scale complementary uses such as cafes, small convenience shops or childcare nurseries may be appropriate within the Employment Area, or another well related location where these do not have a detrimental impact on the overall function of the employment area, Town Centre or District Centres.

12.115 The Habitats Regulation Assessment and Natural England have identified that any future applications for development at the Employment Area will need to be subject to Habitats Regulation Assessment screening to mitigate any significant adverse effects on the Special Protection Areas. The Habitats Regulations Assessment will need to consider the nature of development and the proximity to the Stour and Orwell Estuaries SPA and may need to cover issues such as noise, lighting, disturbance, contamination and dredging. Anglian Water have identified a need to improve the foul sewerage network at the Port to enable future development of this site.

12.116 The Suffolk Coastal & Ipswich Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study indicates that the Felixstowe water recycling centre will be overcapacity by 2030 and will require improvements to increase capacity. The extent of any improvements will need to be assessed through discussion between the developer and Anglian Water ahead of any relevant planning application being submitted to the District Council.

 

Policy SCLP12.7: Port of Felixstowe

The Port of Felixstowe is identified on the Policies Map as an existing Employment Area. Land will be promoted and safeguarded for employment, activities and operations which support the retention, expansion and consolidation of the Port of Felixstowe and the jobs associated with the Port.

Employment proposals which are considered to be of a strategic scale and nature, or those which generate large movements of heavy goods vehicles will be directed to sites within the Employment Area. Improving the capacity of the foul sewerage network and seeking opportunities to enhance transport links on the A14 and railway line will need to be undertaken to ensure that the Port of Felixstowe continues to operate efficiently as a major contributor to the local and national economies.

Proposals which provide small scale complementary uses which serve the ancillary needs of those businesses operating within the employment area will be supported, where necessary, where they are not detrimental to the overall function of the Employment Area, Town Centre or District Centres.

Applications for development of this site will need to be subject to a Habitats Regulation Assessment screening. Any development which would result in significant adverse effects on protected landscapes such as the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which could not be appropriately mitigated will not be permitted. Future development will also require improvements to the foul sewerage network to be undertaken.  

3. Policy PS3 of the 2014 Marine Plan - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/312496/east-plan.pdf [back]

Land at Bridge Road, Felixstowe

221 Land at Bridge Road, Felixstowe

12.117 This allocation is carried forward from the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan Development Plan Document (2017). The site is identified for employment uses and proposals for development relating to this site will also be considered against the employment policies in Chapter 4.

12.118 Land at Bridge Road Felixstowe is to be retained as an employment area. The area was identified within the 2001 Local Plan and is still appropriate to protect for employment purposes. Retention of existing operations on this site is essential as this site provides employment opportunities in a location which is well related to Felixstowe Town Centre, as well as some small scale units which serve a variety of needs.

12.119 The employment area is in close proximity to residential properties on St Andrews Road and it is important that the residential amenity of these properties is not adversely affected by employment operations. In order to ensure that detrimental impact is kept to a minimum the Council will seek to resist large numbers of traffic movements on this site as well as controlling hours of operation.

12.120 Vehicle movements and turning within the site is problematic. Over time and as opportunities arise consideration should be given to the introduction of a turning head to ensure that issues facing vehicular movements within the site are resolved.

12.121 Development proposals at Felixstowe should have regard to the findings of the Suffolk Coastal & Ipswich Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study which indicates capacity limitations at Felixstowe Water Recycling Centre. Evidence will be required to demonstrate how capacity will be made available in time to serve the proposed development.

 

Policy SCLP12.8: Land at Bridge Road, Felixstowe

Employment opportunities will be encouraged on the site at Bridge Road as shown on the Policies Map.

Applications for employment uses on this site will be considered against the following:

a) Existing lawful uses to be retained;

b) Business Class proposals (B1 and B2) will be supported subject to them not having a detrimental impact on the residential properties adjacent;

c) Proposals which generate a large number of traffic movements will be resisted;

d) Small units to be retained - comprehensive redevelopment of the site for one use will be resisted;

e) Evidence is required to demonstrate there is adequate Water Recycling Centre capacity or that capacity can be made available Hours of operation to be limited by planning condition to resist over intensification of uses; and

f) Landscaping of boundaries to be introduced to enhance the appearance of the site.

Land at Carr Road/Langer Road, Felixstowe

223 Land at Carr Road Langer Road, Felixstowe

12.122 This allocation is carried forward from the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan Development Plan Document (2017). The site is identified for employment uses and proposals for development relating to this site will also be considered against the employment policies in Chapter 4.

12.123 The land at Carr Road / Langer Road is an existing employment allocation to be carried over from the 2001 Local Plan. The site identified on the Policies Map provides a range of general employment opportunities which are different in scale and not related to those at the Port of Felixstowe.

12.124 Retention of this site is essential as it continues to provide a wide range of business activities which offer services and opportunities required to widen the economic base across the Felixstowe Peninsula.

12.125 Suffolk County Council have identified that over the plan period, junction improvements may be needed at Langer Road and Beach Station Road to improve the capacity of the road network in this part of Felixstowe. Improvements to this junction will also enhance the welcome to Felixstowe as this route is well used by those visiting the seafront locations and attractions.

12.126 Anglian Water have identified that there is limited capacity in the foul sewerage network and the connections to this network may need to be reinforced as a result of any future intensification of uses in this area.

12.127 Development proposals at Felixstowe should have regard to the findings of the Suffolk Coastal & Ipswich Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study which indicates capacity limitations at Felixstowe Water Recycling Centre. Evidence will be required to demonstrate how capacity will be made available in time to serve the proposed development. The Cross Boundary Strategic Flood Risk Assessment between Suffolk Coastal District Council and Waveney District Council and the Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study between Suffolk Coastal District Council and Ipswich Borough Council identify this site as being within Flood Zone 3. Any proposals for further development at this site must therefore have regard to this issue and be accompanied by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment.

 

Policy SCLP12.9: Land at Carr Road/Langer Road, Felixstowe

Employment opportunities will be encouraged on the site at Carr Road / Langer Road as shown on the Policies Map. Applications for employment uses on this site will be considered against the following:

a) Proposals for further development of the site should be accompanied by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment;

b) Existing lawful uses to be retained;

c) Business Class proposals (B1 and B2) will be supported subject to them not having a detrimental impact on the residential properties adjacent;

d) Warehousing or storage activities will be resisted and directed towards land identified under Policy SCLP12.4 or other areas designated for Port and Logistics uses;

e) Proposals which generate large numbers of heavy traffic movements will be resisted;

f) Evidence is required to demonstrate there is adequate Water Recycling Centre capacity or that capacity can be made available;

g) Hours of operation to be limited by planning condition to resist over-intensification of uses; and

h) Landscaping of boundaries to be introduced to enhance the appearance of the site.

Land at Haven Exchange

225 Land at Haven Exchange

12.128 This allocation is carried forward from the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan Development Plan Document (2017). The site is identified for employment uses and proposals for development relating to this site will also be considered against the employment policies in Chapter 4.

12.129 Land at Haven Exchange was allocated as part of a general employment area in the 2001 Local Plan. Since that allocation, the site has been subject to various planning applications and proposals which retain the employment uses on the site as well as other uses which create jobs. The site as seen on the Policies Map currently has a mixture of office type uses, a McDonalds restaurant, Lidl Supermarket and vacant parcels of land.

12.130 On the northern boundary is the Peewit Hill area of open space which is an Area to be Protected from Development and covered by other policies in the Local Plan. Beyond this area is an established residential area and opportunities to create sustainable links for pedestrians and cyclists are to be created. To the east of the employment site is the Felixstowe Beach Holiday Park and Peewit Caravan Park which provide an important contribution to the tourist accommodation offer across the Felixstowe Peninsula. The caravans and holiday park are low rise (predominately one storey in height) and any future employment development will need to be sympathetic to the surrounding areas.

12.131 The proximity of these residential and holiday uses preclude the use of the site for uses which may cause a detrimental impact on the residential amenity of the area. Uses which involve a large number of heavy goods vehicles will be resisted in this location, in order to minimise the impact upon the existing residential uses.

12.132 The Council's Environmental Protection Team have advised that an Air Quality Assessment would be required alongside any future planning application to assess the potential impacts any development in this area may have on the declared Air Quality Management Area at Ferry Lane, Felixstowe.

12.133 National Grid have identified that the site is in close proximity to IP/HP (intermediate pressure pipelines and high pressure pipelines) gas distribution apparatus which any future development will need to take into account. National Grid wishes to be involved in the preparation, alteration and review of plans and strategies which affect their assets to ensure the continued safe operation of existing sites and equipment.

12.134 Development proposals at Felixstowe should have regard to the findings of the Suffolk Coastal & Ipswich Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study which indicates capacity limitations at Felixstowe Water Recycling Centre. Evidence will be required to demonstrate how capacity will be made available in time to serve the proposed development. The Water Cycle Study also identifies this site as being within an area of moderate tidal or fluvial flood risk. Any proposals for further development at this site must therefore have regard to this issue and be accompanied by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment.

 

Policy SCLP12.10: Land at Haven Exchange, Felixstowe

Employment opportunities will be encouraged on the site at Haven Exchange as shown on the Policies Map. Applications for employment uses on this site will be considered against the following:

a) A site-specific Flood Risk Assessment;

b) Existing lawful uses to be retained;

c) Business Class proposals (B1 and B2) will be supported subject to them not having a detrimental impact on the residential properties adjacent (including Holiday and Caravan Parks);

d) Starter units required which provide opportunities for local businesses;

e) Scale of employment buildings to be in keeping with existing units;

f) Uses which are complementary to the Port of Felixstowe will be supported, excluding those which have a detrimental impact on residential amenity;

g) Evidence is required to demonstrate there is adequate Water Recycling Centre capacity or that capacity can be made available; Air Quality assessment required; and

h) Consideration of the IP / HP apparatus crossing the site.

Felixstowe Sea Front

12.135 The Suffolk Coastal Local Plan continues to recognise the importance of the tourism industry in Felixstowe primarily centred on the coastal location, resort activities and proximity of the town to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

12.136 Felixstowe is the largest tourist resort in Suffolk Coastal and offers a wide range of attractions and facilities to cater for a variety of tourist needs and requirements, as well as those of local residents and businesses. At peak periods car parking provision is not sufficient to meet demand which can result in conflicts between visitors, residents and businesses across the town. Over the plan period, the Council will continue to monitor car parking provision and use to ensure demand at peak periods is not detrimental to the local community and the town's economy. The introduction of Shared Space in the town centre, new beach huts, new coastal defence works, and redevelopment of the Spa Gardens, Martello Park and the Pier demonstrate a long standing commitment to inward investment in the resort and across the town.

12.137 The East Suffolk Business Plan identifies specific actions for Felixstowe which focus on the resort and tourism opportunities and this Local Plan seeks to ensure further opportunities are realised over the plan period.

12.138 Felixstowe's long promenade which stretches from Felixstowe Ferry in the north to Martello Park in the south provides direct access to the beach and sea. Previously it was not possible to access the beach at Cobbolds Point but recent works in respect of coastal management have enabled opportunity to access this area which is of great benefit to the resort. The coastal management works have made further provision for a continuous promenade along the sea front and help to ensure Natural England's requirements are met in respect of a Coastal Path around England.

12.139 Along the frontage there are clearly defined areas which serve different markets and cater for varying needs. These were originally established through the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan and are being carried forward in this Local Plan. The areas are:

  • Felixstowe Ferry and Golf Course
  • Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club to Cobbolds Point
  • Cobbolds Point to the Spa Pavilion
  • Spa Pavilion to Manor End
  • Manor End to Landguard

12.140 Protecting the distinct character of various parts of the sea front is necessary, but flexibility needs to be promoted to ensure that appropriate redevelopment opportunities can be taken up at the appropriate time, to boost Felixstowe's wide ranging tourist industry. The Council consider it essential that the wide range of tourism activities taking place in Felixstowe are maintained and regenerated to promote year round tourism based on the environmental, cultural and social attractions of Felixstowe.

Felixstowe Ferry and Golf Course

12.141 Felixstowe Ferry pre-dates much of the rest of the town, having developed as a small fishing and boat building community at the mouth of the River Deben. Many of these original activities are still taking place alongside a small number of residential dwellings and other business uses. The high quality of the landscape with views of the estuary, sea and open countryside provide opportunities for recreation and make the area popular for residents and visitors alike.

12.142 Felixstowe Ferry is outside of the Settlement Boundary of Felixstowe and is therefore considered to be a countryside location where any development proposals are strongly resisted unless material considerations justify an exception. Maintaining the current access to the water in this area is fundamental to the local community and visitors alike. As well as access to the water it is essential that limited parking provision and turning opportunities are retained to ensure the free and satisfactory movement of vehicular traffic in this location without having an adverse impact on the unique character of the area.

12.143 South of Felixstowe Ferry is Felixstowe Ferry Golf Course which has an open character adjacent to the sea wall. The sea wall provides a public footpath which links Felixstowe Ferry with other tourist activities and further car parking opportunities.

 

Policy SCLP12.11: Felixstowe Ferry and Golf Course

Felixstowe Ferry is to be protected to ensure that the unique traditional character continues to contribute to the overall tourism offer. Any future development proposals need to be sympathetic to the traditional low key activities in the area. Views and interactions between the existing buildings, landscape and water need to be retained to maintain the overall setting of Felixstowe Ferry as a small fishing and boat building community.

Proposals for new access points to the river or houseboats within existing houseboat areas as shown on the Policies Map will only be supported where they do not have a detrimental effect on the Special Protection Area.

The openness of the Golf Course is to be protected as this area provides uninterrupted views of the AONB and the sea. Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club is recognised as an important leisure, community and tourism facility and proposals which significantly improve the club house facilities in order to safeguard the long term future of the golf club will be welcomed where they retain the openness of the golf course.

Public access along the sea wall is to be retained within the area to ensure that sustainable links and connections are provided to maintain the unique character of the community and reduce the dominance of the car.

Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club to Cobbolds Point

12.144 This part of the Felixstowe frontage is characterised by low impact uses of beach huts and traditional green open spaces on the cliff top. Limited commercial activities provide a tranquil and peaceful environment.

12.145 Development on the cliff top is to be restricted to activities such as car parking, beach huts, sea angling opportunities or other tourism related uses (kiosks) to ensure that the open character of the cliff top is retained and views of the sea are not obstructed.

12.146 Beach huts provide an essential contribution to the Felixstowe tourist industry and provide a unique seaside experience enjoyed in various locations on the east coast. Previous Local Plans have sought to concentrate beach huts in specific areas enabling the number of beach huts to be managed in a planned manner and avoid conflict with other sea front activities. Beach huts should be sited so as not to cause unnecessary blockages to the promenade.

12.147 The area around Cobbolds Point has a special character of large residential curtilages on the cliff top within the Settlement Boundary. Sub division of these curtilages will be resisted unless in exceptional circumstances.

 

Policy SCLP12.12: Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club to Cobbolds Point

The area from Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club House to Cobbolds Point is characterised by the open green cliff top and undeveloped nature of the seafront with car parking opportunities.

Traditional beach huts and gardens provide a tranquil and unique character which is to be retained. Proposals which retain the undeveloped non-commercial character of this area will be supported. New development will only be acceptable in exceptional circumstances where it contributes or is essential to supporting existing tourist activities.

Beach huts will be concentrated in this location and where possible kept below the level of the cliff to avoid obstruction of the sea view from Cliff Road. They will also need to be kept clear from the promenade where appropriate, to avoid unnecessary blockages.

Cobbolds Point to Spa Pavilion

12.148 Commercial tourism activities in this area are prominent with beach huts, ice cream kiosks, holiday accommodation and eating establishments. Within this area proposals that contribute to tourist and commercial activities will be welcomed where they do not have a detrimental impact on the surrounding residential areas.

12.149 Following major investment in 2015, the Spa Gardens are a major tourist attraction for the town, providing a high quality environment that respects the traditional character of the area. The Spa Pavilion which reopened in 2015 also provides a boost to the tourism and cultural activities in Felixstowe.

 

Policy SCLP12.13: Cobbolds Point to Spa Pavilion

Proposals which offer tourist and commercial activities on the ground floor and maintain an active frontage will be supported, provided they do not have a detrimental impact on residential uses or the wider tourism offer.

The Spa Gardens provide a major attraction which is enjoyed by residents and visitors. These areas will be maintained as formal gardens and open space. No further beach huts or kiosks will be located in this area except in exceptional circumstances, such as providing significant economic benefits to the resort. 

Spa Pavilion to Manor End

12.150 This area of Felixstowe provides a number of traditional seaside uses such as amusement arcades, crazy golf, fairground rides, eating and drinking establishments, Pier head and Leisure Centre. The mix of uses along this section of the sea front provides attractions for residents and visitors.

12.151 Adjacent to Sea Road and Undercliff Road West, are numerous residential streets which provide a mix of permanent dwellings as well as guest house / B&B uses to serve the tourism industry. Residential uses in close proximity to active tourist uses may provide conflict at times, especially during the peak periods when car parking within the resort becomes an issue for local people and visitors alike.

12.152 Maintaining the active commercial frontages on the ground floor with a focus on tourist activity is fundamental to the District's economy and opportunities for promoting year round tourism will be supported. Tourism and other commercial related uses are preferable on upper floors, but where this is not possible or viability dictates otherwise, residential development will be welcomed.

12.153 The Pier head (redeveloped in 2017) and Leisure Centre provide the anchors to ensure year round tourism. These facilities and their central location are fundamental to the success of the Felixstowe sea front. Proposals for the redevelopment of the Leisure Centre will need to be complementary with the surrounding tourism and resort activities and provide a landmark attraction which has wider economic and social benefits. Redevelopment of the Leisure Centre will need to be carefully considered in relation to the surrounding built environment and take account of physical site constraints. Opportunities for redevelopment will only be required once a new Leisure Centre has been opened in accordance with the master plan approach for North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood.

12.154 Bent Hill and Convalescent Hill provide the opportunity for redevelopment which could complement the tourism uses in Felixstowe alongside improving the links between the resort and the town centre.

 

Policy SCLP12.14: Spa Pavilion to Manor End

The Council will support and promote high intensity tourist uses in this area, with a high proportion of these to be located along the Sea Road frontage. The area has, in part, a rich Edwardian and Victorian character and any proposals will need to maintain the active commercial frontage and be of a high quality design which respects the town's heritage. Proposals which actively encourage new resort experiences will be welcomed.

Resort related uses will be supported on the Sea Road frontage. Proposals should consider the whole site for resort related uses to provide a vibrant mix of activities. Where this is not possible or unviable there may be opportunities for residential units on upper floor or at the rear of sites.

Additional beach huts in this area will be limited to locations which complement the existing resort uses and do not fill the important gaps between huts.

The Leisure Centre and the Pier head are the focal point of tourism related activities in Felixstowe. Proposals which seek to redevelop and support this central location will be supported to ensure that the resort offers a range of high quality attractions for visitors and residents, as set out in policy SCLP12.16.

Between the Pier and the Spa Pavilion, activities which promote cultural attractions including cafes, restaurants and shops on the ground floor will be supported where they respect the Conservation Area designation and the Edwardian and Victorian heritage of the resort. Proposals which provide a link between the resort and the town centre will also be supported. 

Manor End to Landguard

12.155 The Landguard Peninsula is an area of contrast with the Scheduled Monument of Landguard Fort (Grade I Listed), the Port of Felixstowe, a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The historic interest needs to be carefully considered against the favourable habitats for wildlife and breeding birds and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.

12.156 The existence of a number of potentially conflicting land uses and activities in close proximity to one another needs to be carefully managed to ensure that activities are not detrimental to one another or the Felixstowe Peninsula as a whole.

12.157 The Landguard Partnership[4] is a long standing partnership between key players involved with the Landguard Peninsula. The Partnership seeks to provide a long term framework for the future management and development of this highly valued coastal peninsula. The Partnership recognises the very special qualities of the area which are of importance locally, nationally and internationally.

12.158 Through the Landguard Partnership, the Council was able to secure improved opportunities for public viewing of the Port of Felixstowe. Any future redevelopment of the Port adjacent to Landguard, will need to be carefully considered. The Landguard Partnership will have an important role in considering mitigation measures necessary to ensure that proposals do not have a detrimental impact on the Scheduled Monument and environmental designations. 

Policy SCLP12.15: Manor End to Landguard

The Landguard Peninsula is a key contributor to the tourism offer in Felixstowe but is an area where visitor numbers and attractions need to be balanced with the protection of the Scheduled Monument, and maintain the favourable condition of the Site of Special Scientific Interest and Local Nature Reserve.

Uses which are sympathetic to the unique landscape and Scheduled Monument will be supported where additional traffic generation is mitigated and appropriately managed through improved access and car parking arrangements to minimise the impact.

Any future redevelopment of the Port in this area will need to be carefully considered with the Landguard Partnership. Redevelopment of the port land in close proximity to Landguard may provide opportunities for additional car parking provision and vehicular access arrangements to serve needs at peak times. 

4. Members of the Landguard Partnership are Suffolk Coastal District Council, Felixstowe Town Council, Historic England, The Port of Felixstowe, Harwich Haven Authority, Landguard Fort Trust, Felixstowe History and Museum and Landguard Conservation Trust (Bird Observatory). [back]

Felixstowe Leisure Centre

234 Felixstowe Leisure Centre

12.159 Land at Felixstowe Leisure Centre encompasses 1.25ha, redevelopment of which is expected to provide resort, tourist and visitor uses in support of both the day and night time economy and complementary to Felixstowe Town Centre.

12.160 The existing leisure centre at Felixstowe is coming to the end of its operational life and requires redevelopment to continue to serve the needs of the local community and visitors to the area. The site is in a high profile location on the seafront and the relocation of this use as part of the Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood development presents a unique 'once in a generation' opportunity to enhance the area and deliver a modern and imaginative attraction.

12.161 Recent investment and redevelopments have significantly improved the attractions and sea front experience for residents and visitors alike and the redevelopment of the leisure centre and surrounding area will complement the activities that have taken place. Uses and activities which encourage public use and provide opportunities for social interaction will be welcomed in this high profile location which has been a key focus for the local community for generations.

12.162 The existing leisure centre is a dominant building which in part blocks the views of Felixstowe Pier and the seafront. Redevelopment of this site provides the opportunity to change the built form and provide an improved area for resort and seafront activities to take place.

12.163 Enhancing the public realm and space in this part of the Felixstowe seafront will provide flexible opportunities for events and entertainments to take place in a high quality landscaped environment which reflects the coastal location.

12.164 Any future development of this site will need to reflect the Conservation Area and architectural heritage of Felixstowe and provide built form that promotes attractive spaces for resort, tourist and recreational uses that support both the day time and night time economy of Felixstowe. Limited residential opportunities such as serviced apartments on upper floors which do not conflict with the predominant use may provide additional opportunities as part of any future redevelopment of this high profile location.

12.165 Car parking provision in this part of Felixstowe at peak times is over subscribed. The current car park provides 85 spaces (including disabled bays). Redevelopment of this site will need to ensure that as a minimum the same level of car parking provision is provided to serve visitors to the town.

12.166 Redevelopment of this site will be closely linked both in terms of timing and funding to the provision of a new leisure centre as part of the Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood.

12.167 Development proposals at Felixstowe should have regard to the findings of the Suffolk Coastal & Ipswich Cross Boundary Water Cycle Study which indicates capacity limitations at Felixstowe Water Recycling Centre. Evidence will be required to demonstrate how capacity will be made available in time to serve the proposed development. The Water Cycle Study also identifies this site as being within an area of high tidal or fluvial flood risk. Any proposals for further development at this site must therefore have regard to this issue and be accompanied by a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment.

 

Policy SCLP12.16: Felixstowe Leisure Centre

Land currently occupied by Felixstowe Leisure Centre, car parking and event space as identified on the Policies Map is allocated for modern and imaginative resort, tourist and visitor uses which support both the day time and night time economy in Felixstowe.

Development of this site will not come forward until new leisure facilities have been brought into operation as part of the Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood.

Development will be expected to accord with the following criteria:

a) A mix of uses which promote unique, modern and imaginative tourist, resort and visitor opportunities;

b) Uses which do not adversely impact the town centre;

c) Improved public realm and accessibility;

d) Design and layout which complements the prominent seafront location and character of the Conservation Area;

e) A site-specific Flood Risk Assessment is required;

f) Evidence is required to demonstrate there is adequate Water Recycling Centre capacity or that capacity can be made available

g) No reduction in car parking spaces;

h) Supports both the day time and night time economy; and

i) Limited residential on upper floors.

Tourism Accommodation

12.168 Felixstowe is a popular seaside destination with a variety of accommodation available. In order to promote year round tourism the Local Plan seeks to ensure the further provision of appropriate holiday accommodation across the District and Felixstowe is a key contributor to this provision through a variety of forms. Maintaining the level of accommodation for tourism is important to support the tourist activities within the resort, however tourism accommodation does not need to be confined to sea front locations.

12.169 Proposals for new tourism accommodation will be welcomed primarily within the Felixstowe Settlement Boundary. New accommodation will need to take into account the impact on residential amenity and ensure adequate off street parking is delivered alongside any new development.

12.170 Alongside the hotel, guest houses and B&B provision, Felixstowe has a number of caravan parks and holiday villages which provide a different type of accommodation and provide a significant contribution to the local economy which is not to be underestimated. These sites are established and surrounded by existing land uses which potentially limit their future expansion.

12.171 Proposals which seek to intensify or modernise the tourism use on these sites will need to be considered against the character and appearance of the surrounding landscape, highway and access arrangement and the living condition of neighbouring residents. Flood mitigation will also be a key consideration as large parts part of these sites are in areas at risk from flooding.

12.172 The Habitats Regulations Assessment has identified tourism development could lead to a significant increase in visits to the estuaries, with some parts of the Orwell estuaries potentially accessible on foot, depending on the location of the proposal. A project level Habitats Regulations Assessment will therefore be required,

 

Policy SCLP12.17: Tourism Accommodation in Felixstowe

The need to strengthen Felixstowe as a seaside destination is recognised. Holiday accommodation will be encouraged and supported across Felixstowe where proposals will have a positive impact on the local economy and respect the character of the surrounding street scene. Proposals will normally be expected in sea front locations but may also be welcomed across Felixstowe where they are of a high design standard and do not have a detrimental impact on residential amenity.

Existing caravan parks and holiday village uses will be retained. Proposals for permanent tourist accommodation or facilities in the form of permanent buildings (or upgrading of existing facilities) will be supported but only where they meet the following criteria:

a. They do not have a detrimental impact on highway and access arrangements;

b. They are of a scale and size in keeping with the existing caravan parks or holiday villages;

c. There are no material adverse impacts on the environment or residential amenity; and

d. They include flood mitigation measures.

A project level Habitats Regulations Assessment will be required,