Notcutts plan rejected

A CONTROVERSIAL decision to expand the Notcutts site in Woodbridge has today been rejected by planners.More than 50 concerned residents packed Suffolk Coastal's Council Chamber to hear the decision.

A CONTROVERSIAL decision to expand the Notcutts site in Woodbridge has today been rejected by planners.

More than 50 concerned residents packed Suffolk Coastal's Council Chamber to hear the decision.

However, protestors' jubilation could be short lived as it is expected that the plans will be altered and then resubmitted.

An application had been submitted to extend the existing garden centre and build a new medical centre and housing on the Ipswich Road site.

Councillors heard a three-minute speech from Charles Notcutt who said he would agree to look at putting an element of affordable housing in the plans. He said the site would be "not only good for Notcutts but good for Woodbridge, a town which our business and our family have been a part of for all of the last century."

Councillors at the meeting of Suffolk Coastal's south area development control sub committee however expressed concern about the size and nature of housing on the site and agreed that they had insufficient details to agree to the proposals.

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Veronica Read said: "I don't think there is any doubt that it's an extremely important gateway to Woodbridge that we are looking at and therefore it's got to be handled extremely sensitively."

Councillors agreed to refuse plans for three main reasons: Lack of detailed information, destruction of a conservation area and because it ran contrary to local plan policies.

Councillor Mary Dixon said: "The green areas within Woodbridge are a very significant part of the character of the town and once you begin to erode them it's losing part of that character.

"So many issues have been put forward that it seems to me it would be far better to refuse it as it stands and have a re-submission rather than try to tinker around with it."

Mr Notcutt declined to comment on the decision after the meeting.

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