Major proposals for former HMS Ganges site at Shotley Gate take ‘step in the right direction’
PUBLISHED: 17:29 16 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:59 17 April 2018
Multi-million pound plans to transform a former Suffolk naval training base into a development with nearly 300 homes, a sports park, shops and a GP surgery have taken another step forward.
Developers behind proposals for the former HMS Ganges site at Shotley Gate – which also include a 60-bed nursing home and community facilities – have outlined their vision for the site in fresh documents submitted to Babergh District Council.
More artist’s impressions have emerged and developers Haylink have requested to update conditions in the original proposal, to allow reports to be drawn up about certain elements.
If approved, the changes will allow a timeline of work for a proposed swimming pool to be drawn up, alongside an outline of proposed pedestrian and cycle routes.
They have also asked for the historic Anson Building to be taken off the Heritage Asset List in line with guidance from planning officers.
Council planners gave the proposal the green light in 2015 – and an appeal by Woolverstone Parish Council was turned down two years later.
Concerned villagers argued that the Babergh committee hadn’t accounted for the rise in traffic such a large-scale development could bring.
It is hoped a proposed ‘spine road’ through the site will take the bulk of construction traffic away from public roads.
Independent ward councillor for the area, Derek Davis, said: “On the whole this is a really good step forward.
“It shows that the developers are very keen to crack on with this and start the homes.
“I think the sooner they start on the spine road the better, because this will connect the development with the marina and help to take some of the construction traffic.
“Overall it’s a great step in the right direction, because this has been on the cards for so long and now people are actually beginning to see it turn into a development.”
Haylink bosses are now awaiting a decision from planners.
HMS Ganges trained generations of Royal Navy recruits until 1976.
The base has not had any permanent use since they moved out.
Back in November, Haylink put in an application to restore the site’s iconic 143-foot mast, which will form a key element of its redevelopment.
The restoration should be under way by the time the 130th new home is completed.