Leading builders interested in boatyard

BRITAIN'S leading builders of modern technology wooden yachts have revealed they wanted to move to the vacant Whisstocks boatyard in Woodbridge.Spirit Yachts Ltd, of Benhall, near Saxmundham, said it was bursting at the seams and had to relocate from a farm to fulfil the orders.

BRITAIN'S leading builders of modern technology wooden yachts have revealed they wanted to move to the vacant Whisstocks boatyard in Woodbridge.

Spirit Yachts Ltd, of Benhall, near Saxmundham, said it was bursting at the seams and had to relocate from a farm to fulfil the orders.

Its co-owner Sean McMillan told a planning inquiry in Woodbridge yesterday he had tried to buy Whisstocks boatyard when it closed in 1991 and had tried again a few years later.

"It would be extremely sad and regrettable if such a prestigious company like Spirit Yachts was lost from the East Anglian region when this site is sitting vacant," he added.


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"It seems to us that Woodbridge has an extraordinary heritage of boatbuilding excellence, dating back hundreds of years, and it would be a great loss to the area if this disappeared."

His evidence was presented in support of Suffolk Coastal District Council, which is fighting an appeal by Michael Howard Homes.

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The Dedham-based company wants to demolish the vacant Whisstocks boatyard buildings and build 15 homes and five offices/studios.

The council has refused planning permission and said the site should be used for small-scale business uses or leisure/recreational uses only.

Its council chamber was packed yesterday with 70 members of the public on the first day of the three-day inquiry conducted by planning inspector Ava Wood, who is expected to deliver her decision in January.

The planning inquiry continues.

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