Objectors call for rethink on decision day for Woodbridge ‘cheese wedge’ homes
PUBLISHED: 05:15 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:27 13 October 2017
Opponents will today have the opportunity to put their objections directly to community leaders as they meet to decide whether the so-called “giant cheese wedge” homes at Woodbridge should go ahead.
A large number of residents are expected to attend Suffolk Coastal council’s planning committee and to argue that the designers should go back to the drawing board.
Senior planning officers are recommending the proposals for 100 homes on the site of the council’s former HQ are approved – despite more than 330 objections.
Planners acknowledge the scheme has generated significant local objection, and understand the concerns of residents, but say the weight of protest is not a reason to withhold planning permission as decisions “are not and cannot be made by referendum”.
Among those objecting are Woodbridge Town Council, Melton Parish Council, the River Deben Association, the Woodbridge Society, Woodbridge Town Trust and Woodbridge Riverside Trust, and hundreds of residents, who have written letters.
Opponents say the buildings will look like a college campus and “giant cheese wedges” and there is “no justification for five-storey villas”, which will be a blight on the landscape.
They have issued a six-page statement replying to the planning officers’ report, claiming the project does not meet the national planning policy framework, contravenes important planning policies, and that the density is higher than stated when floodplain land is excluded and far higher than anticipated for the 3.3-acre site in the local plan.
Their report says underground parking is insufficient – not even a space per property – and well below the county standard, which will lead to overspill onto local streets; and the impact on homes in Deben Road is given “short shrift”
The report said: “No one is denying that the site should be developed for much needed housing in the town centre of Woodbridge. The objective is to have the right development. This is not the right one.”
Active Urban (Woodbridge) Ltd want to use the site on Melton Hill for 100 homes in 14 blocks, plus a community building and a retail unit, possibly a coffee shop.
Planners says the scheme “represents an interesting and progressive design solution for the site”, and is acceptable.