New scheme rejected

EXPANSION of at the site of a well-known garden centre could threaten one of "the gems" of Woodbridge, according to the town's mayor.At a meeting of Woodbridge town council's planning committee last night, councillors voted to refuse proposals for development at the Notcutts store.

EXPANSION of at the site of a well-known garden centre could threaten one of "the gems" of Woodbridge, according to the town's mayor.

At a meeting of Woodbridge town council's planning committee last night, councillors voted to refuse proposals for development at the Notcutts store.

Plans for the site, which borders Ipswich Road, include a new doctors' surgery, flats and sheltered housing.

Debating the proposals, mayor Neil Montgomery said: "This is a huge application with massive implications for the town.


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"It will compromise an area which is one of the gems of Woodbridge. As you come over the hill you get a lovely vista.

"It's an absolute treasure and it would be a great mistake if that were damaged in any way."

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Residents of the area have voiced their objections by erecting a series of placards along the roadside, and around 30 turned up to last night's meeting to hear the council's outcome.

Julian Illman, a resident of Ipswich Road, said that a more sensitive development of the site should be looked at, to help preserve an area of beauty.

Other residents expressed concern over traffic and said they feared expansion of the Notcutts store could take trade away from the centre of the town.

Gill Green, of Cherry Tree Road, said: "It's not just the people that live close to the site that are concerned. This is something that is going to have a huge impact on the town as a whole."

Mr Montgomery said he was aware of the benefits the development would bring, such as employment and wealth for the town, but said there were a number of "quite serious defects" which could not be ignored.

Councillors agreed that the development "flew in the face" of the local plan and voted overwhelmingly to refuse it.

Suffolk Coastal District Council are expected to make a decision on the plans within the next few months.

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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