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Sudbury: Push to get 1,250-home development back on track

06:00 31 July 2014

Frank Lawrenson

Frank Lawrenson

Archant

Plans to build up to 1,250 on the outskirts of Sudbury are back on the agenda, with a new group forming to oversee how the pivotal development should take shape.

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The long-awaited 270-acre Chilton Woods scheme is one of Suffolk’s key sites for delivering vital additional housing and employment over the next 20 years.

But the proposal has been plagued with delays, with two of the county council’s development partners pulling out of the project.

The most recent, Redrow Homes, abandoned its plans citing that escalating costs had made the project unviable.

The county council, which is the site’s major landowner, resolved to invest £1.6million to get Chilton Woods back on track and pledged to move forward without a developer in place.

It was recently revealed that the local authority is considering increasing the number of homes on the site from the original 1,050 planned to 1,250 in a bid to increase the viability of the project.

And now, the Chilton Woods place shaping group has also been reconvened to work with consultants on what the development should contain.

Babergh councillor Frank Lawrenson, who is part of the group, said: “There has been a meeting in the past couple of weeks with the consultants and things are moving again.

“The whole of Babergh’s core strategy hinges on Chilton Woods – if it doesn’t happen then its back to the drawing board for the whole region so it cannot fail.

“Now that the county council is in the driving seat, we are a step forward and it is far more likely that there will be a viable plan with planning permission in place by the end of the year.”

The masterplan for Chilton Woods is currently being refreshed and a further round of public consultation is expected to be held in autumn.

County councillor for the patch, Jenny Antill, said: “Most of the delivery of the affordable homes in the area hinges on getting the Chilton Woods development moving so it is vital to the area.

“The focus group has been resurrected to look at the detail of what is needed and the plan is to get the necessary planning permission in by the end of the year.”

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