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New beach hut village and activity park plans for Felixstowe approved by East Suffolk Council's cabinet

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£1million plans to create a new beach hut village and activity park in Felixstowe have been given approval by East Suffolk Council’s cabinet.

The development proposes to build 25 traditional beach huts, a new changing facility and five purpose-built pods on the current trim trail land between the south beach promenade and Sea Road.

That trim trail will be moved to the current volleyball site in Buregate Road and upgraded into an activity park.

Beach huts in Felixstowe. Picture by Mark Westley
Beach huts in Felixstowe. Picture by Mark Westley

The council’s cabinet on Tuesday evening unanimously backed the £1m plan and initial designs by Plaice Architects, which means detailed proposals can be drawn up and planning application submitted.

Conservative assistant cabinet member for economic development, Steve Wiles, said: “As we move into 2021 this proposal signals confidence and ambition for our seafront offer.

“With the ever-increasing popularity in staycations and day trips, it has never been more important to offer inclusive facilities and amenities for residents and visitors alike.”

Mr Wiles said it represented the third phase of a revamp of the south beach area following the ongoing work to refurbish the Victorian shelters and the Martello Park cafe development.

The council said the traditional beach huts would be sold rather than rented to generate the strongest return, with an overall payback period of 15 years for the whole project.

A tie-up with the town council is also to be agreed so that the town council will oversee day-to-day maintenance while the district council will organise the booking of the pods and larger maintenance.

The scheme will be funded from retained business rates, existing capital budgets and some external funding.

The pods will have a flexible use which can be hired for community groups or families, with partition walls helping expand the size of the space as needed, the authority said. It will also be a wheelchair accessible area, it confirmed.

Councillor Mike Deacon, Labour group councillor for Felixstowe, said: “I am delighted with this proposed installation.

“I am a bit disappointed that the conventional traditional beach huts are all going to be private sale, I would have liked to have seen perhaps two or three open to short term lets.

“But I absolutely wholeheartedly welcome this – it will make an enormous difference to our seafront offering.”

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