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Melton: Hopes grow for changes to old GAH factory

12:03 31 March 2014

Former GAH premises, Melton Road, Woodbridge

Former GAH premises, Melton Road, Woodbridge

Signs of activity on a derelict factory site have raised hopes that a three-year-old proposal to convert the “eyesore” into a new care home may finally come to fruition.

Carefore Group, which applied to build a 58 room care home at the former GAH Factory in Melton, near Woodbridge, in 2011 has refused to comment on the activity.

However it did submit documents to Suffolk Coastal District Council earlier this month confirming the completion of an environmental survey; a necessary precondition to the work beginning.

Melton Parish Council, which recommended the application for approval in 2011, is hopeful this is a sign work may soon begin.

Planning committee chairman Geof Butterwick said: “The community is suffering the blight of too many derelict industrial sites, all immediately adjacent to the Area of Outstanding National Beauty.”

Parish council chairman Bryony Abbott has also reiterated her support for the proposal, which she hopes may be of use to the region’s ageing population.

“The scheme, as I recall, was designed for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia – which is increasing in the population and we certainly need more places as this requires specialist care,” she said. “There was a plan for a lovely sensory garden to be included, which we thought was in keeping with the environment.”

“Melton Parish Council would welcome development to bring our existing brownfield sites back into use rather than building on land designated as countryside and this is one of the early themes emerging from the analysis of our recent Neighbourhood Planning survey.”

Jim Bidwell, one of Melton’s district councillors was also “very supportive” of the project. He said it would improve a site that was currently an “eyesore”.

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