Shotley: HMS Ganges housing plan gets seal of approval from Government

Artist's impression pictures of the new development at HMS Ganges, Shotley Gate Artist's impression pictures of the new development at HMS Ganges, Shotley Gate

Monday, February 3, 2014
12:49 PM

Plans for a 285 home development on the Shotley peninsula have today gathered pace after the Government gave the go-ahead for the controversial proposal.

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Babergh District Council’s (BDC) planning committee voted 9/4 in favour of the development at the former HMS Ganges training base at Shotley Gate last November.

However the Department for Communities and Local Government said planning permission could not be issued until it had carried out a final review.

But it emerged today that government officials have concluded the Secretary of State will not have to be called in to rule over the matter, clearing the path for BDC and developers Haylink to work on plans to overhaul the former naval base which has stood derelict for more than a decade.

Protestors, including parish councillors from neighbouring Woolverstone and Chelmondiston, have previously raised concerns over increased traffic the development will bring through their villages and a lack of infrastructure to support the project.

It comes after a previous proposal by Haylink for 325 homes, which Babergh’s planning committee also approved, was overturned in 2006 by the Government’s planning inspectorate.

The site has not had any permanent use since the Royal Navy moved out in the 1970s. It was last used as a police training base until 2001.

Haylink insist they will regenerate the area by building 285 homes, a 60-bed nursing home and a hotel, as well as retail and commercial buildings.

They have pledged to retain, renovate and restore the site’s heritage features including the HMS Ganges mast.

However it is understood it could take up to a year before construction work begins due to complicated Section 106 agreements.

Simon Barrett, BDC’s lead member for economic development, welcomed the news.

“The former HMS Ganges site has been the subject of numerous planning applications over the years while the condition of the buildings on the site has deteriorated,” he said.

“Now there is a real opportunity for a mixed-use development to take place on the site which could do much to improve the condition of the site and its buildings, while also helping to improve housing supply and the local economy.”

Dave Jones, planning casework manager at the DCLG, said in a letter to the council: “The Secretary of State has carefully considered the impact of the proposal, and the key policy issues of promoting sustainable transport, delivering the wide choice of high quality homes, promoting healthy communities and conserving and enhancing both the natural and historic environment which this cases raises.

“In his opinion, the proposals do not: involve a conflict with national policies on important matters; have significant long term impact on economic growth and meeting housing needs across a wider area than a single local authority; have significant effects beyond their immediate locality; give rise to substantial cross boundary or national controversy; raise significant architectural and urban design issues; or involve the interests of national security or foreign governments.”

Scott Bailey, planning and urban design manager at Haylink, said: “We think this is extremely encouraging news and look forward to going through the next stages.”

11 comments

  • This is good news to get the site redeveloped. I live in view of it, and it is an eye sore and brings rats etc. BUT, the added numbers of people needs to bring improvements to services such as buses at the weekend and evenings, and broadband etc. Heaven forbid it could even bring gas!

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    Neil (Suffolk)

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • No doubt the short sighted do-gooders will be up in arms about this opportunity to improve the community. They'll be the same ones complaining about the lack of investment in public transport and other amenities in the area.

    Report this comment

    MJ85

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • MJ85..No doubt you do not live in the areas concerned, there are others like myself who do not want this to go ahead as we have enough cars and buses speeding by chugging along here not at 30mph, what will further cars bring to our area? apart from traffic lights every 100 yards? I do not think so!! Us residents do not want and oppose it!! Go elsewhere

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    an idea

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • ....FYI, I've lived on the peninsular for nearly 30 years.

    Report this comment

    MJ85

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • The 'No to Ganges development' crowd seem to base their position on the sole assumption that this will only generate more traffic.Which is entirely the kind of short-sighted opinion I'm talking about.

    Report this comment

    MJ85

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • "an idea" please don't speak for all residents, I find a lot in the actual area want it to go ahead. The moaning villages - Wolverstone for example don't seem to mind the traffic the private school brings.

    Report this comment

    Neil (Suffolk)

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • ....FYI, I've lived on the peninsular for nearly 30 years.

    Report this comment

    MJ85

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Goody! Loads more traffic on the B1456. Should make cycling on the peninsular a joy.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • The assumption that this development will simply result in 'further cars' is precisely the short sighted, knee-jerk reaction to these proposals that I was eluding to.FYI, I've lived on the peninsular for nearly 30 years.

    Report this comment

    MJ85

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Although an Ipswich resident, I have stated ever since the the evening and Sunday buses services were withdrawn from the Shotley area, that it should have been reinstated as a necessary link for the villages and residents of Wherstead Road into the town centre. Indeed I have expressed my opinions to Ipswich Buses Ltd., Borough Councillors and various other bus operators. I feel sure that given a few months the 202 and even possibly the 98 bus routes, could eventually reap the reward of increased passenger footfall, especially if the services were advertised on a national and possibly a European level bearing in mind the pleasant and historical landscape, which together with the marina used as a point of entry by many European visitors.

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    Neil Shadbolt

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • No doubt the short sighted do-gooders will be up in arms about this opportunity to improve the community. They'll be the same ones complaining about the lack of investment in public transport and other amenities in the area.

    Report this comment

    MJ85

    Monday, February 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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