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Hope for sporting facilities at airbase

PUBLISHED: 16:12 26 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:36 03 March 2010

DREAMS of turning a former American air base into a vibrant new village with 3,000 residents has been given another boost after plans for sports facilities and new housing were unveiled.

DREAMS of turning a former American air base into a vibrant new village with 3,000 residents has been given another boost after plans for sports facilities and new housing were unveiled.

A landowner has responded to calls from residents at Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, and the district council to make land available for playing fields close to the proposed village centre and new school site.

The Bunbury Trust yesterday also indicated that it will provide land for 75 units of low density housing on a greenfield location to assist Suffolk Coastal in achieving its aim of a high quality and balanced redevelopment scheme at the former Bentwaters air base.

This offer has given momentum to the council's desire to finalise comprehensive plans for Rendlesham.

The authority recently passed plans to increase the number of homes for the brownfield centre of the domestic part of the base from 313 to 445, meaning only 75 homes were required on undeveloped land to achieve the projected number.

Peter Start, of FPD Savills who represent the Bunbury Trust, said the land was north of Suffolk Drive and it would enable many key redevelopment objectives to be met.

These include new housing within walking distance of the village centre and school, provision of a large area of attractively located land for two sports pitches and a wide variety of other recreational activities.

Plus the use of playing fields as an undeveloped transitional section between the village and surrounding countryside.

"The land sits immediately adjacent to Bentwaters village and is an identified site for new housing incorporated within the district council's Local Plan guidelines. It also includes an area of previously developed land which used to form part of the old air base," said Mr Start.

"One of the advantages of the site if it were chosen would be to give a more rounded shape to the settlement. The type of houses to be built would depend on the market and the density would be laid down by planners – my guess is that they would be reasonably sized properties."

The district council is expected to consider the proposals at a meeting of the development control sub-committee on April 3.


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