Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 17°C

Search

Hundred home plan for former council offices withdrawn by developer

PUBLISHED: 10:27 12 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 August 2018

Suffolk Coastal's former headquarters at Melton Hill, Woodbridge  Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Coastal's former headquarters at Melton Hill, Woodbridge Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Uncertainty surrounds the future of a controversial housing project today after developers withdrew their application for 100 new homes to replace vacant council offices in Woodbridge.

An impression of what the front of the Melton Hill housing development could look like  Picture: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS/AUPGAn impression of what the front of the Melton Hill housing development could look like Picture: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS/AUPG

Plans to redevelop the Melton Hill site, occupied by Suffolk Coastal District Council until December 2016, were approved by the council’s planning committee last October, despite more than 330 objections.

However, the final decision was deferred until April, as councillors sought to resolve a number of issues chiefly, the delivery of affordable housing.

The committee agreed to 32 affordable units in two blocks one less than originally proposed by Active Urban Property Group, due to “market concerns” of registered providers taking on separate units in open market housing blocks.

The council’s head of planning, Philip Ridley, was given authority to issue the final go-ahead.

Philip Ridley, head of planning and coastal management at Suffolk Coastal District CouncilPhilip Ridley, head of planning and coastal management at Suffolk Coastal District Council

In a letter dated last Thursday, he wrote that the applicants were able to attract only one expression of interest from a registered provider to take on just 16 units for affordable rent.

Mr Ridley wrote that the committee’s original resolution would allow for the shortfall to be made up by a commuted sum of £1.5million.

But, last week, the applicants informed Mr Ridley that the provider no longer wanted the 16 units, and that no other provider was interested instead suggesting the possibility of vacant building credit (VBC) introduced to give developers a financial credit for the amount of vacant building floorspace brought back into use or demolished, offset against affordable housing contributions.

The day after Mr Ridley’s letter concluded VBC would not be applicable on the site, the council revealed a letter from the applicant, requesting the application be withdrawn with immediate effect.

The homes were due to be contained within 14 blocks, up to five storeys high, with a community and café space, pedestrian thoroughfare to the river, and underground parking.

Some opponents labelled the design “cheese wedges”, and were concerned about height and density, but planners felt it was bold, with an “acceptable and positive approach”.

It has yet to be confirmed whether or not the applicant will submit a fresh proposal.

Several people have been arrested by Border Force officials in Suffolk after two incidents involving suspected illegal immigrants.

The brutal tactics used by predatory drug dealers to target Ipswich’s homeless when they are most vulnerable have been laid bare by police and aid workers.

With the increasing liberalisation of cannabis laws gathering pace around the world, a company in Essex is keen to take advantage of the opportunities.

Emergency services are at the scene of a collision between a pedestrian and a car near the Mulberry Tree pub in Ipswich.

A Suffolk soldier who punched and kicked an Ipswich taxi driver during a drunken night out in the town has been jailed for 16 months.

A right-wing pro-Brexit group seeking to topple Theresa May has missed its target when trying to get Suffolk residents to sign up as Tory members – it wrote to Labour agent John Cook urging him to “Unite the Right!”

People in Colchester have been assured their town is “still safe” following a hot water attack and stabbing, which took place over the weekend.

New format for Ipswich Defeat Dementia 2018 fundraising walk

A Suffolk nightclub DJ has denied sexually assaulting a woman while she was asleep.

A 90-year-old widower who died after a road collision in Woodbridge has been named by police as Peter Grimer.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24