How many homes will be built on the site of Brackenbury Sports Centre?

PUBLISHED: 14:01 07 September 2018

Brackenbury Sports Centre at Felixstowe faces an uncertain future Picture: MIKE PAGE

Brackenbury Sports Centre at Felixstowe faces an uncertain future Picture: MIKE PAGE


Both Brackenbury and Felixstowe Leisure Centre are facing an uncertain future in the new draft Local Plan.

Felixstowe Leisure Centre could be developed as a 'landmark attraction' Picture SARAH LUCY BROWNFelixstowe Leisure Centre could be developed as a 'landmark attraction' Picture SARAH LUCY BROWN

Brackenbury Sports Centre is set to be demolished in the next decade – and its site used for 80 new homes.

Suffolk Coastal council says the development will not take place until replacement sports and leisure facilities are provided elsewhere in the town.

The aim is to build a state-of-the-art leisure complex as part of a 350-acre 2,000-home ‘Garden Neighbourhood’ development between Candlet Road and Gulpher Road.

The new facilities would include exciting new leisure attractions the resort does not currently possess and would aim to attract people from outside town to as a new ‘leisure destination’.

Suffolk Coastal says both Brackenbury, in High Road East, and Felixstowe Leisure Centre, on the seafront, are at the end of their useful lives and need replacing. The leisure centre opened in 1986 and Brackenbury was taken over from Felixstowe College when it closed in the 1990s.

The council has just completed a huge refurbishment of Deben Pools in Woodbridge and work on a £3.5million renovation of Leiston Leisure Centre starts this month.

It feels the Brackenbury site could be used for 80 homes, including accommodation for older people, while the leisure centre could become a landmark attraction.

Currently the sports centre provides indoor sport facilities, outdoor courts, play areas, open space and car parking.

The revised draft Local Plan says: “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.

Felixstowe Leisure Centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFelixstowe Leisure Centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“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.

“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.

“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.”

The future of Felixstowe Leisure Centre, Undercliff Road West, is less clear – but its site will not become housing.

The council says the facilities and their location are fundamental to the success of the seafront.

It says: “Proposals for the redevelopment of Felixstowe 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 masterplan approach for North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood.”

Deadline for comments on the draft Local Plan is 5pm on September 14.

To comment on the plan, visit the council’s online consultation portalor email suffolkcoastallocalplan@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

Or in writing to Planning Policy & Delivery Team, East Suffolk House, Station Road, Riduna Park, Melton, Woodbridge, IP12 1RT.

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