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Developers interested in taking over former ‘cheese wedges’ housing site

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 March 2020

Suffolk Coastal's former headquarters in Melton Hill Picture: ANDREW HIRST

Suffolk Coastal's former headquarters in Melton Hill Picture: ANDREW HIRST

Archant

The site of a council’s former offices, which had been set to become a 100-home housing estate, is attracting new interest from potential developers.

The former Suffolk Coastal District Council offices on Melton Hill, in Woodbridge, remain empty following the authority's departure to Riduna Park in Melton ahead of its merger to form the new East Suffolk Council.

There had been plans in place which would have seen the site cleared and turned into a 100-home development, known as King's View.

However, the plans attracted a lot of criticism locally for their unusual designs, which was locally dubbed as 'the cheese wedges'.

The plans, the third set entered for the site, were controversially approved by East Suffolk Council in October.

However, this decision was overturned last month after a failed planning appeal concerning the amount of affordable housing on the site terminated the council's contact with developers, Active Urban Woodbridge.

Following the decision, East Suffolk Council said it would be looking into the options open to it, including whether the site would go back on the market.

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Investigations by this newspaper last year found that the former developers had paid around £6million for the site.

Now, a month later, the council says that it had been encouraged by interest in the site and is continuing to look into the options available for its redevelopment.

A spokesman for East Suffolk Council said: 'We are continuing to take advice from our planning and legal advisors on the various options open to us.

'In the meantime, it is encouraging to hear of the level of interest in the site from developers.'

Woodbridge resident Brendan Padfield said that he hopes that whoever takes over the site will propose a more sympathetic development than the previous offering.

'What the site needs is any development that is compatible with its location and environment and delivers the full complement of social housing that Woodbridge really needs,' said Mr Padfield.

'Something that suits the historic market town of Woodbridge.

'Never in the history of East Suffolk planning has there been such overwhelming opposition by the public, local councils and the likes of Historic England, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, RSPB and the National Trust to name but few.'

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