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What lorry of planning papers!

PUBLISHED: 03:09 26 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

COPIES of possibly one of the biggest planning applications to have been dealt with by a council have been delivered by special lorry because of the weight and volume of the paperwork involved.

COPIES of possibly one of the biggest planning applications to have been dealt with by a council have been delivered by special lorry because of the weight and volume of the paperwork involved.

The documents for the application, for outline permission to build up to 500 homes on the former HMS Ganges site at Shotley Gate, weighed a total of 250 kilogrammes – about 39 stone – roughly the equivalent of four people.

In fact, said senior planning officer Martin Price, it weighed much the same as the combined planning staff in Babergh District Council's eastern team.

He said because of the complexity of the project and the number of organisations that had to be consulted the applicants, Haylink Ltd, had to supply 25 copies of the application.

It includes an environmental impact assessment involving reports from a dozen different technical consultants.

Mr Price, who will have the task of assessing the application, said the council would have to consult a large number of outside bodies, including English Heritage – because of the listed Martello Tower and 19th Century fort on the site – all the parish councils on the Shotley Peninsula, the Harwich Haven Authority, Tendring District Council, Suffolk's highways department, ramblers and environmental groups.

Haylink's plan includes about 12 hectares of public open space as well as creating a "village square" with shops, some employment units and a new museum for the Ganges Association.

Mr Price said: "This is a large brownfield site and since the navy left in 1976 the site has created a lot of uncertainty in Shotley."

He said assessing the proposal would not be rushed through within eight weeks although Babergh District Council would deal with it as quickly as possible.

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