A petition has been launched to save an area of woods and recreation space in a Suffolk seaside town amid fears new homes could be built on the land.

So far, 768 people have signed the change.org petition amid online concerns the Eastward Ho! outdoor playing fields and The Grove woods in Felixstowe were being earmarked for development as part of the 2,000 home North Felixstowe Garden Neighbourhood.

However, a spokesperson for East Suffolk Council, which is leading the masterplan process for the scheme, said: “While we respect everyone’s right to create petitions about issues they care about, these assertions do not accurately reflect what we are asking local communities to consider.

"As part of the master-planning process, we have said throughout that we are committed to protecting and enhancing The Grove woodland and Eastward Ho! and we are also encouraging everyone with an interest in the wider proposals to have their say.

“We are also committed to upgrading the four existing playing fields on the Eastward Ho! recreational area.

“We welcome feedback and will continue to do so throughout the master-planning process.

"Local people can visit www.northfelixstowe.co.uk for a wide range of information or email the project team via hello@northfelixstowe.co.uk.

"Please also keep an eye on the public engagement and consultation page of the website for other opportunities to take part.”

East Suffolk councillor David Beavan, the cabinet member with responsibility for housing, added: “I totally understand public cynicism about consultations, however, we are a new administration working in a new, transparent and honest way.

"We really do want the opinions of local people and no-one needs to collect signatures to get us to pay attention.

"We are looking for a courteous, rational and honest conversation to find the best possible plan for everyone.”

The petition, started by Monika Boast, claims that 125 homes are going to be built on the site.

READ MORE: Felixstowe concerns over 2,000 homes plan for Suffolk town

It said: "Your lead mission statement says 'leisure-led development comprising green infrastructure, community facilities'.

"I can't help thinking that this is marketing speak for destroying what is already a well-known location that is leisure led, comprising green infrastructure."

The Garden Neighbourhood project was launched in February at the town's Orwell Hotel, when 300 residents packed in to hear details about the masterplan for the development and raised concerns about increased traffic, risks of flooding, education and the loss of countryside.

READ MORE: Felixstowe news

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The new homes - set to be built over a 20 to 30-year period - will increase the resort's population by about 10,000 people.

The 345-acre site stretches from Gulpher Road in the north to the Dock Spur roundabout in the west and Ferry Road in the east.

A new £25million state-of-the-art leisure centre is also expected to form part of the development.