Felixstowe is booming

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The Independent Online
THE problem of the redundant US Air Force bases in Suffolk concerns most of us who live in this lovely county. Your article, "Peace sell-off threatens the Sandlings" (4 December) was an interesting addition to the debate but was marred by the repo rted comments of the Suffolk Preservation Society concerning Felixstowe: "The society believes that the houses should be built at Felixstowe, 20 miles away," and: "It's Felixstowe that badly needs jobs."

Felixstowe Town Council is bewildered by these assertions by Lady Bridges, the Suffolk Preservation Society's vice-chairman. Felixstowe has one of the most vibrant economies in Great Britain. This is because of the growth of its port during the last quarter of this century to one of the top four in Europe, a position based on its excellent east coast connection with Europe and its wider trading links with the rest of the world, particularly the Far East. Felixstowe provides employment for its immediate locality and much further afield.

It is also alarming that the Suffolk Preservation Society wished to see a large increase in the housing stock in Felixstowe. Housing provision in Felixstowe is subject to rigorous limits endorsed by the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan. Indeed, a suggested increase in the housing stock of 30 houses was rejected by the inspector at the Local Plan Inquiry only last year. Felixstowe is surrounded by beautiful countryside and its town centre is protected by an extensive conservation area, which sever ely limits its housing growth. It seems extraordinary that the Suffolk Preservation Society is not aware of these facts.

S C Robinson Town Clerk Felixstowe Town Council Felixstowe, Suffolk