Welcome to East Suffolk Council’s information pack on the former Deben High School project. We aim to provide you with details on this exciting project and our proposals for transforming what is currently a disused brownfield site to a mixed housing and leisure development for the town of Felixstowe, delivering 61 new high-quality homes, plus leisure and community facilities.
The planning application paperwork for the site is available to access via the Public Access planning portal (search for reference number DC/21/0541/FUL).
We pre-recorded an introduction video by the architects Tate Hindle, for the purpose of the consultation.
East Suffolk Council took over the ownership of the former Deben High School site in Felixstowe from Suffolk County Council on 16 November 2020.
This enables the realisation of several current challenges for the council. The site offers an opportunity to provide accommodation for the Felixstowe Sports Hubs and Felixstowe Indoor Bowls Club and the remainder of the site will be utilised to provide much needed sustainable housing.
The 4.09 hectare site consists of a range of buildings, of various ages, and substantial playing fields. The playing fields are protected from development under the Schools Framework Act 1977 and the council are working with Felixstowe and Corinthians Cricket Club to explore the opportunity to make this their long-term home. By utilising and upgrading the old sports hall facility at the Deben school site, the plan is for the Indoor Bowls Club and Cricket Club to share some of the facilities in a purpose-built centre.
The site is located off Garrison Lane and the proposed housing element will be approx. 1.1 hectares in size (26.9% of the total land mass). The housing element will be utilising the area currently occupied by the existing school buildings.
The proposals seek to demolish much of the existing school buildings and build 61 dwellings in its place, of which 42 will be affordable homes. The existing Sports Hall will be redeveloped for Indoor Bowls and a Cricket facility and the original Assembly Hall will be retained for community use. The whole site will be landscaped and developed to create an integrated space where the emphasis is on pedestrian movement and linking up with natural green spaces.
The nearest bus stop operates from the South East Corner of the site, approx. 100m South of the site entrance.
The nearest GP surgery is Howard House Surgery. Located at 31 Orwell Road, Felixstowe, approx. 0.3 miles from the site.
The nearest Primary School is Fairfield Infant School. Located at High road West, Felixstowe, approx. 0.4 miles from the site.
There are also a large number of other local amenities within a 1-mile radius, including: Felixstowe Train Station and supermarkets
The buildings are not listed, nor are they located within a conversation area. A historic appraisal report on the site has been carried out, which has identified that the Assembly Hall is of some historic interest. The Assembly Hall is proposed for retention as part of the development.
Discussions are underway with the Felixstowe Society to remove and retain key architectural features for the records, such as the front doors. A photographic record of the site has been taken and a drone survey was commissioned to show the Public the footprint of the site as it currently stands.
The Governments definition, as stated in the revised National Planning Policy Framework, often referred to as the ‘NPPF’ is:
There are 3 elements to affordable housing:
What does social rent mean?
Social rented homes are owned by local authorities and/or private registered providers. The rent is set in accordance with the Government’s rent policy.
What does affordable rent mean?
Affordable rented homes must be no more than 80% of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).
What does shared ownership mean?
Shared ownership offers people the chance to purchase a share of a property, while paying a subsidised rent on the remainder.
Our proposal is anticipated to provide 32 socially rented, 10 shared ownership and 19 open market homes, which equates to a 69% affordable homes contribution.
The proposed masterplan consists of a total of 61 new homes build to PassivHaus standards. The proposal includes fully compliant wheelchair accessible units within the development.
All homes will have their own private external spaces either in the form of private gardens or balconies. Residents will also have use of extensive communal green space, gardens and play space.
The site layout has been optimised to maximise passive solar gain in winter and minimise overheating in the summer, resulting in the majority of homes benefitting from a south facing elevation, which in turn creates a light, sun filled, comfortable and healthy environment. The proposed layout also looks at repairing the street scene along Garrison Lane and introducing a series of green courtyards that link back to the cricket pitches. Houses are arranged with back gardens to neighbouring properties to prevent overlooking.
Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling. They are built with meticulous attention to detail and rigorous design and construction, according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany, and can be certified through an exacting quality assurance process.
Passive design uses layout, fabric, and form to reduce the need for mechanical cooling, heating, ventilation, and lighting demand. Consideration to the properties’ spatial planning and orientation, combined with a continuous ventilation system, allows the occupants to benefit from solar gain and maximises daylight without the risk of overheating. Collectively these design principles will reduce the properties reliance on mechanical systems.
It is intended that the existing two-way access to the site will be used to serve the residential properties and parking areas.
To support the application a Transport Assessment will be prepared.
The site location is accessible by a choice of non-car modes of transport, including on foot, by cycle, and public transport. High quality cycle parking infrastructure will be provided on site for new residents, to encourage uptake of cycling. On-site car parking provision will be provided for residents, and for the future leisure use, with consideration to the location and accessibility of the area.
Infrastructure will be provided on site for electric vehicle charging.
With regard to flood, the site is not categorised as a flood risk or in a flood zone in any of the council maps for:
The site has a small amount of land mass that is categorised as Low Risk (0.1% AEP) for Risk of Flooding from Surface water spread sporadically across the site.
The site does not fall within either the 'Flood Warning area' or 'Flood Alert Area' and has been described as having “Limited potential for ground water flooding to occur” within the map for Susceptibility to Groundwater Flooding.
Each dwelling will be provided with dedicated storage space for waste and recycling and some of this may be communal. 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses will have storage for residual, recycling and garden waste in their rear gardens. Dedicated areas will be provided on the street frontage for residents to present their bins on the morning of collection.
Each dwelling is provided with a recessed cupboard which will act as a utility cupboard enclosing all service entry points (meter boxes, utility boxes) to ensure the street scene is uncluttered.
The whole of the development site prioritises the movement of pedestrians and we intend for the speed of movement to be set by the pedestrian. Alongside this, house frontages have been carefully designed to bring back the street scene on Garrison Lane.
The green spaces dotted throughout the site integrate the new development into the existing community, providing connectivity through the site and beyond to the Pocket Park to the North-West. Whilst also providing an inviting and comfortable space for the residents to utilise.
Our proposed development contains a mix of house types and tenures, designed to meet a range of housing needs, which are visually integrated by a number of design principles which are established across the site.
All of the properties within the development are tenure neutral which means that the design, space standards and material palette are identical for affordable housing and private sale.
All properties have been designed to meet or exceed the technical housing standards and nationally described space standard.
Internal house plans are designed to meet the changing needs of modern living, with the introduction of home-working/office spaces.
A pedestrian-focused public realm which uses green spaces to knit the proposed development back into the local community, forms the heart of the concept proposal.