Garden centre raises objections

MORE than 150 people have objected to controversial plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment of a leading garden centre in Suffolk.The proposed expansion of Notcutts, Ipswich Road, Woodbridge, has generated intense interest in the town and now a planning report has revealed that some of the development goes against policy.

MORE than 150 people have objected to controversial plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment of a leading garden centre in Suffolk.

The proposed expansion of Notcutts, Ipswich Road, Woodbridge, has generated intense interest in the town and now a planning report has revealed that some of the development goes against policy.

Suffolk Coastal district councillors are being recommended to visit the site in January before discussing the plans at a meeting on February 5.

The land lies within a Conservation Area, is on the main approach road into the town centre and the landscape is admired by thousands of visitors and residents.


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Notcutts wants to extend the garden centre to 30,000sq ft, close the existing access and build a mini roundabout at the junction of Cherry Tree Road and Ipswich Road with a new access. A medical centre to be used by the Framfield House surgery is proposed and 10 flats and 14 terraced houses are earmarked for disused land adjacent to Warren Hill Road and the cemetery.

Sheltered housing and possibly a nursing home are proposed and Notcutts wants to maintain the public open space in perpetuity along the Ipswich Road frontage.

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''The area will be fully landscaped as a public open space to a design to be agreed with the council and thereafter leased on a long-term basis to the town council, the district council or a Town Trust,'' said a planning report.

There are two relevant planning policies affecting the six hectares of land. Council officers say that the medical centre and the proposed houses are in an area to be protected from development under policy AP28 of the Local Plan. However, a ''significant proportion'' of the overall redevelopment is in an area identified for comprehensive development under policy AP238 of the Local Plan.

Councillors will be advised at a development control sub committee on January 8 that they need to visit the site to look at all the issues raised by objectors.

''Over 150 letters of objection have been received and they raise a number of issues relating to the impact of the development upon the Conservation Area, the impact of increased activity, traffic generation, the scale and massing of the buildings proposed, particularly the three and four storey buildings at the back of the site, and the overall adverse impact of this level of development upon the Woodbridge Conservation Area and residential amenity, and the attractiveness of this heavily landscaped site,'' said the committee report.

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