This was presented by the council as landowner and leisure provider in order to feed into the Local Plan process. Overall attendees were supportive of a new leisure centre as a great community facility, visitor destination and as a catalyst for growth.
Concerns broadly fell into the following areas:
Unfortunately, there seems to be some inaccurate comment circulating that suggests that the council is planning to sell off or develop the area know as The Grove in Felixstowe for housing. This is simply not true.
Over the past year, we have been actively promoting opportunities in North Felixstowe for development on land it owns, as well as in the wider area, for housing and a new leisure centre.
On 12 September 2018, as the landowner, we formally responded to the draft Local Plan consultation by submitting detailed representations to support these opportunities. This submission outlined how the council's land, and other land in North Felixstowe, could be used as part of a leisure-led masterplan for up to 2,000 homes, infrastructure, open space and community facilities.
The council owns agricultural land, paddocks, sports pitches, open space and woodland in North Felixstowe in the area of The Grove and Eastward Ho. As is clearly demonstrated in our concept masterplan, the vast majority of existing open space and sports pitches are proposed to be retained and there is no intention within the masterplan to build on The Grove woodland.
In fact, the masterplan approach to growth in this area provides substantial opportunity to enhance existing green spaces and facilities, creating additional new natural and formal open spaces and potentially expanding the woodland and habitats, which provide a well respected natural asset in this area. In addition, the masterplan strongly advocates the creation and protection of green corridors and connections to the countryside to the north.
The leading influence on this plan is the delivery of a new leisure centre for the town, which could provide the additional amount and quality of leisure and sports provision that local people want. Therefore, sports and recreational facilities are of fundamental importance in the council’s plans and will be expanded overall as a result of this masterplan.
It should be emphasised that the masterplan submission remains at an early stage. The council, as a landowner, recognises the importance of this area to the town and community and will be considering all representations submitted in the recent consultation to influence the continued development of the masterplan.