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Developer reduces homes and makes access safer as project delayed

PUBLISHED: 11:59 12 April 2020

Unattractive and unloved - the Garrison Lane junction corner in Felixstowe is set for a makeover. Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

Unattractive and unloved - the Garrison Lane junction corner in Felixstowe is set for a makeover. Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

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Permission for new homes on a prime site near an accident blackspot have been delayed while wildlife studies take place.

The site proposed for a new superstore at Felixstowe - land from the Garrison Lane railway bridge, behind homes in High Road West and leading down to the town's station Picture: RICHARD CORNWELLThe site proposed for a new superstore at Felixstowe - land from the Garrison Lane railway bridge, behind homes in High Road West and leading down to the town's station Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

Permission for new homes on a prime site near an accident blackspot has been delayed while wildlife studies take place.

Felixstowe-based Housemaster Ltd submitted proposals for 10 new homes on eight-tenths of an acre of land used for advertising hoardings at the traffic light junction of Garrison Lane and High Road West in Felixstowe. The company has now reduced this to nine homes.

The land at one of the “gateways” into Felixstowe had been earmarked as part of a plan for a controversial new multi-million pound 30,000 sq ft supermarket.

If the homes go-ahead, it will put an end to the plans for the store and leave the growing town – where around 3,800 homes are being built and planned – with no options to expand its shopping offer.

An initial ecological study has shown that the site could be home to reptiles and other creatures and more study work needs to be done.

It is understood East Suffolk Council planners are waiting for the results of this before making a decision on the homes.

Meanwhile, alterations have been made to the proposed access after highways chiefs asked the developers to redesign the access to make it safer. Cars will now enter and leave via a “left in, left out” turn access road off Garrison Lane.

Suffolk Highways had been concerned the land is too close to the traffic lights and the hump-backed bridge over the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line on Garrison Lane, where there is frequently queuing traffic.

Ben Chester, senior development management engineer, felt it would be very difficult to turn right from the access (of the new homes), particularly during peak traffic flow periods and would result in an unacceptable impact on highway safety.

The traffic light junction has suffered from seven recorded injury accidents in the past five years, with five of these occurring since 2017.

In documents submitted to East Suffolk Council, Last & Tricker Partnership, on behalf of Housemaster Ltd, said housing was justified as part of the policy of redeveloping brownfield sites in sustainable locations and permission had been granted in the past for houses on the land.

Five years ago, the land was to be the delivery depot access for a site stretching behind homes to Railway Approach for a proposed supermarket. Councillors were faced with three plans at once – the other two being an Asda at Haven Exchange and a huge Tesco at Walton Green.

With the 30-acre Tesco site now set for 385 homes, the resort has no sites identified for a further superstore with people having to travel out of town or internet shop.

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