Homes proposed for prime 'gateway' site end hopes of new superstore
PUBLISHED: 16:30 21 December 2019
Highways chiefs say developers wanting to build new homes on a prime site near an accident blackspot must redesign the access to make it safer.
The scheme for 10 new properties is set to be built on one of the "gateways" into Felixstowe - land currently earmarked as part of a plan for a controversial new multi-million pound superstore.
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.
Felixstowe-based Housemaster Ltd has submitted proposals for the 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.
But Suffolk Highways is concerned that 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, said: "This would make it 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 for users of the access and the adjacent highway.
"The signalised junction has suffered from seven recorded injury accidents in the past five years, with five of these occurring since 2017."
County council highways officers want the access redesigned as a "left-in left-out" access to prevent right turns.
In documents submitted to East Suffolk Council, Last & Tricker Partnership, on behalf of Housemaster Ltd, said the site would generate less traffic use than for its agreed use in connection with a superstore.
The use for 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 and flats on the land.
Five years ago, the land was to be the delivery depot access for part of a site stretching behind homes to Railway Approach for a proposed 30,000 sq ft supermarket and 300-space car park. Councillors were faced with three plans at once - the other two being an Asda at Haven Exchange and a huge Tesco at Walton Green.
Councillors chose the Railway Approach plan but a dispute over access over a third party's land has meant it has not been built.
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.
A decision on the new homes in High Road West is expected in the new year.
The county council has requested CIL contributions from the developer totalling £139,994, including more than £100,000 towards education provision.