A Suffolk estate’s historic features could be returned to their former glory if the go-ahead is given for a £2.7million housing project.

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High Sheriff of Suffolk, Sir Edward Greenwell is hoping the project at his home at Sudbourne Park, near Orford, will raise more than £400,000 for the repair of the 530-acre estate.

The money would be used to plant new trees, to restore tree-lined driveways, repair an historic walled garden dating back to 1841, put back a Victorian fruit and vegetable garden, repair steps, create a broadwalk from terracing to a lake, and carry out other work.

The public will reap the benefit, too, with the park being opened ten days a year and the creation of permissive paths along White Lodge Drive, the estate’s main avenue, and other parts of the estate.

In order to achieve this, Sir Edward is asking Suffolk Coastal council to grant permission for 10 homes to be built within and around the walled garden of the old Sudbourne Hall site.

Previously the district council agreed nine homes could be built but since the go-ahead the fall in house prices and rising costs means the approved plans could result in a loss of about £300,000 on the project.

The new plan suggests several changes. In addition to the extra house, changes have been made to sizes of the four, four-bed detached homes and six three-bed ones – two detached and a terrace of four – and their design.

The aim is to sell the four-bed properties for £575,000 and the three-bed homes for between £390,000 and £500,000.

It is expected that the new scheme will result in enough profit for the £433,000 of repairs to the estate, plus a small surplus of £8,900 for the landowner.

Councillors are being recommended to approve the scheme on January 8.

In a report to the north area development management sub committee, case officer Stephen Milligan said when the previous project was approved, councillors “considered the impact of the proposed enabling development upon the significance of the heritage asset would be outweighed by the benefit of the restoration of the wider parkland”.

Mr Milligan said: “The benefits of the footpath provision, restoration and management proposals for the locally designated historic parkland, and public opening, needs to be weighed against the disbenefit of the provision of 10 dwellings within this sensitive and unsustainable location.

“Whilst the dwellings will contain a number of sustainable construction features and have been designed to reflect glasshouses, a traditional feature of historic formal vegetable and fruit gardens, the dwellings will be serviced by private car only and concerns remain from conservation staff in relation to the impact of the dwellings upon the heritage assets they are proposed to conserve.”

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