Growing excitement over plans for new seaside attraction - see what people are saying
PUBLISHED: 11:38 21 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:03 24 December 2019
Proposals for a new seaside attraction hailed as a "bright brave new venture" for Felixstowe are gathering growing support - with people voicing their excitement about the project.
The Beach Street scheme - which it is hoped will be up and running next summer - envisages an assortment of street food outlets, vintage shopping and leisure attractions in a range of converted shipping containers alongside the resort's seafront amusement park.
East Suffolk Council is expected to make a decision on planning permission early in the new year and has received more than 20 letters of support for the development, which the Manning family say will show the resort is a "progressive and proactive town" and will drive economic growth and create jobs.
Felixstowe Forward, which works to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Felixstowe, has backed the project, which has also been welcomed and supported by Felixstowe Town Council.
Members of the public from both inside the town and further afield have written to urge planners to give the go-ahead, too.
Here's what some of them have to say:
Jos Clark, of Felixstowe, said: "Felixstowe has seen a lot of development lately, but this area has been somewhat left behind. I think this a great idea. The containers tie in well with Felixstowe's big thing, the harbour, as well as sustainability and recycling."
Iona Hodgson, of Mistley, said: "I feel that Felixstowe Beach Street would be a fabulous addition to the offering of Felixstowe as a seaside resort, and visitor destination.
"Bringing a modern venue such as this to the seafront of the town is an excellent idea as well as offering much needed spaces to small local businesses and independents to thrive. I personally can't wait to see this project come to fruition."
Dave Goodwin, of Felixstowe, said: "I think that the idea of Beach Street is exactly right for Felixstowe South Beach. The designs look great and will be an enhancement to the somewhat neglected part of the seafront."
Felixstowe Radio presenter Rob Dunger, of East Bergholt, said: "This is a bright brave new venture which, in my opinion, is bound to bring extra life and interest to the South Beach area of town.
"Aiming at new-starts and pop-ups it affords opportunities in retail that are not available anywhere else. The possible mix of trades, services and businesses would make this venture unique.
"The whole town would benefit from this novel idea, and is bound to gain a lot of publicity locally and nationally."
Barbara Seglie, of Felixstowe, said: "Brilliant idea. It will help to improve the area and bring visitor and residents alike to this area. A much needed improvement."
Michael Hallatt, of Martlesham Heath, said: "Great futuristic development for the town."
Chris Murdoch, of Ipswich, said it would revitalise an area of town which is "tired and run down".
"I am exceptionally excited to see what this develops into and fully back the proposals. Let's showcase Felixstowe as the little gem that it is and really put Felixstowe on the map as being the go to place for friends, family, the community, visitors and tourists alike."
Kate May, of Felixstowe, said: "Absolutely fantastic idea. Plans look great. Just what the seafront needs."
The converted containers will create around 1,000sq m of space for eateries and businesses, with most on the ground floor and some two storeys high, set in a block paved "street" with pathways, seating, planters with palm trees and other hardy plants and interactive landscaping to include a low level horizontal climbing wall to encourage outdoor play and exercise.
Charles Manning said there had been positive meetings with the council. He added: "Fingers crossed the application goes through quickly and we can break ground as soon as possible."