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Work on major housing project at HMS Ganges site could start next year

PUBLISHED: 07:30 01 November 2019

View of the iconic mast at the former HMS Ganges site in Shotley Gate. Picture: CLAGUE ARCHITECTS

View of the iconic mast at the former HMS Ganges site in Shotley Gate. Picture: CLAGUE ARCHITECTS

CLAGUE ARCHITECTS

Talks over multi-million pound plans to transform a former Suffolk naval training base into a development with nearly 300 homes, a sports park, shops and a GP surgery could be completed by Christmas.

Artist's impression showing the view across a residential street at the redeveloped HMS Ganges site in Shotley Gate. Picture: CLAGUE ARCHITECTSArtist's impression showing the view across a residential street at the redeveloped HMS Ganges site in Shotley Gate. Picture: CLAGUE ARCHITECTS

Discussions between developers and Babergh District Council planning officers have been going on for years - since plans for the huge project were given outline planning permission in December 2015.

Developers Haylink Ltd were told they had to adhere to 31 conditions before construction could start, and were given a five-year deadline to start construction meaning boots will need to be on the ground by Christmas 2020.

With only a year to go, Derek Davis, ward councillor for Ganges, says that the developers are hoping to start work on the project by early next year.

The Babergh district councillor and cabinet member for communities said: "I met with the development company recently.

Independent Babergh District Councillor Derek Davis. Picture: ARCHANTIndependent Babergh District Councillor Derek Davis. Picture: ARCHANT

"They still have a few of the conditions to iron out but they are hopeful to have them all finished by the end of this year.

"We are hoping they can start the construction of the spine road hopefully by the early part of the year.

"They have one substantial condition still to meet, having a full valuation of the site by external valuers, and some other smaller ones but they are working hard to get those done."

Since permission was given for the massive development, which would see 285 new homes, a 60-bed nursing home, a large retail space and areas for medical services, work has continued to agree plans for landscaping designs, drainage and archeological work. These have already been signed off by the council.

Aerial artist's impression of one of the green spaces earmarked for the former HMS Ganges site in Shotley Gate. Picture: CLAGUE ARCHITECTSAerial artist's impression of one of the green spaces earmarked for the former HMS Ganges site in Shotley Gate. Picture: CLAGUE ARCHITECTS

Planners gave the proposal the green light in 2015 - and an appeal by Woolverstone Parish Council was turned down two years later.

Concerned villagers argued that the Babergh committee hadn't accounted for the rise in traffic such a large-scale development could bring.

It is hoped a proposed 'spine road' through the site will take the bulk of construction traffic away from public roads.

Mr Davis added: "I would say that expectations need to be tempered a little bit. It is a very large project and although it is very exciting, people should believe it will be built when they see the work has started."

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