First published in The Felixstowe Flyer, April 2020.

Ferry Road residents will no doubt be pleased to hear that at a recent meeting of the Town Council Planning and Environment Committee, an application by Generator Optima (Ferry Road) Ltd to further vary the planning consent was recommended for refusal by the Committee.

The developer was seeking to make some internal changes to living accommodation required to meet national living standards, and to remove the windows from the side elevation of a three storey block of flats, even though this would have significantly reduced light for occupants of the building. Alarmingly the developer was also seeking to reduce the boundary distance from ten metres to seven metres between existing properties and the new housing which would have impacted on existing residential amenity and resulted in very tiny gardens for the new properties. We were successful in leading a challenge to this application despite Conservative support for the requests by the developer, and they will now need to make a full application to the District Council should they wish to proceed with the requested changes.

Trimley and Kirton residents have understandably been anxious for some time about the prospect of a logistics park at Innocence Lane between their two villages which would have been opposite Trimley St Martin’s Primary School. We have always been against this and have highlighted that this is a rural site with difficult transport links and a wholly inappropriate place for such a development. The Government-appointed Planning Inspector agrees with us and has rejected the proposal as being unnecessary.

Highways England will embark on a seventeen-week programme of repairs to the A14 during the summer months, which will cause disruption for all residents, particularly for those living in Trimley High Road, Walton High Street, High Road West, Garrison Lane and Langer Road. There will be many sleepless nights and misery whilst residents endure lorries thundering past their homes during the night. At a meeting with Highways England we recommended a contraflow was set up between Junction 58 (Levington) and Junction 62 (Port of Felixstowe) to alleviate the pressures and noise disturbance on local residents. This is now being considered although we have been told that the carriageway is not wide enough to accommodate our suggestion.

Sadly, the Walton Surgery closed on 31 March and from 1 April all patients have been transferred to one of three other GP surgeries in Felixstowe: The Grove, Howard House or Haven Health. It is disappointing that Walton has lost its only GP surgery, and patients will now have to travel to see their doctors as it will not be so easy to access those surgeries from Walton by foot. We did make representations to our MP to ask her to intervene. However, the initial response from her office was to ask Councillor Deacon which state benefit he was complaining about! We persisted and eventually a public meeting was held, but to no avail. The Walton Surgery building is owned by the NHS and it remains to be seen how they will bring the empty building back into use.

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