300-homes scheme for HMS Ganges to bring restoration of historic mast

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

A previously released view of the iconic mast at the former HMS Ganges site in Shotley Gate. - Credit: CLAGUE ARCHITECTS

Plans to restore the historic HMS Ganges mast are being moved forward, as part of a scheme for nearly 300 new homes.

The team at the HMS Ganges Museum has welcomed the news that the mast and historic parade ground are now set to be restored earlier in the development of the 60-acre site.

Developers Galliard Homes and Wavensmere Homes have formed a new partnership to build the huge development at Shotley Gate, to be known as Barrelmans Point.

It is understood work could start in the first quarter of 2022.

Babergh District Council recently gave permission for an amendment to the plan allowing  for "revised construction phasing to ensure that the parade ground, listed mast and retained heritage buildings and community/commercial uses are delivered in the earlier phases of the development."

Artist's impression showing the view across a residential street at the redeveloped HMS Ganges site

A previously released artist's impression showing the view across a residential street at the redeveloped HMS Ganges site in Shotley Gate. - Credit: CLAGUE ARCHITECTS

Wavensmere's website says: "Masterplanned by Clague Architects, the project will require the preservation and restoration of several Royal Navy heritage assets, including the Grade II listed ceremonial mast, Grade II listed entrance gates, a mid-19th-century fort and two Martello Towers.

"There will also be nearly 10,000 sq m of new and converted commercial and leisure premises in a new commercial centre which will include a grocer, retail space, a gymnasium and children’s play areas."

Owners Haylink received outline planning permission for the development in 2015, followed by years of discussions. It had been hoped work would start last year, but it was put back because of Covid.

Last month, an application to demolish the historic swimming pool on the site was withdrawn. 

Most Read

There has been concern locally about the condition of the 143ft-mast, the best-known landmark on the Shotley peninsula, over the years.

Roger Jones, chairman of the HMS Ganges Museum, said the museum's team had been approached by Wavensmere Homes and had twice met with them.

"The most important news that we discussed is the completion of the refurbishment of the mast and the parade ground at the earliest possible time.

"I think I can safely say that the trustees of the museum all feel that we have just been given the best possible Christmas present, given all the uncertainty that has lately surrounded the future not only of the museum but the mast and parade ground also."

Mr Jones said the developers were looking at a new home for the museum, but discussions of this were at an early stage.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter