Sudbury: Extra 200 homes at Chilton Woods would help meet housing need
08:30 01 July 2014
Up to 1,250 homes could be built on the outskirts of Sudbury as part of the stalled Chilton Woods development according to the latest plans – some 200 more than initially proposed.
The original scheme for the 270-acre site – which would also include community facilities, a new primary school, industrial units and a woodland area – was for 1,050 residential properties.
But in an environmental impact assessment document produced on behalf of the landowner Suffolk County Council, it was suggested that the number of homes could be increased by nearly a fifth.
Jenny Antill, council portfolio holder for waste and resources and a district councillor for the area, welcome the idea, saying that “more of the right kind of housing” would be a benefit rather than a drawback. Meanwhile, a county council spokesman said the extra flexibility would make the site more viable.
Plans for Chilton Woods have been in the pipeline for more than a decade and Redrow Homes and the county council were on the verge of releasing a masterplan for the area shortly before the developer withdrew in March last year.
But the local authority pledged to forge ahead alone to deliver Chilton Woods, which is an important scheme for Suffolk and is included in the county’s growth strategy. It also accounts for more than 20% of the housing requirement set out in Babergh’s core strategy for the next 20 years.
A spokesman for the county council said the final planning application for the site could still be for a lower number of homes.
He added: “During the examination of Babergh’s core strategy, the overall viability of the Chilton Woods project was debated and in order to provide some flexibility if required, the specific number of homes and areas of land were agreed to be approximate values.
“Many aspects influence the overall viability such as the number of homes, the scale and cost of infrastructure and financing for the development.
“The county and district councils are working closely together to form a sustainable and viable development at Chilton Woods.”
Mrs Antill said she did not believe the extra houses would lead to a cut in the number of community facilities on the site, or an increase in traffic around Sudbury – both of which have been raised as concerns.
She said: “Many four bedroom houses on large lots would take up a lot of room and not fulfil the needs of the area in terms of housing.
“But the density in Redrow’s plan was not particularly high and it may actually be better to have more appropriately sized houses, or flats for elderly people that will meet the local housing need but won’t necessarily take up more space.”
The masterplan for Chilton Woods is currently being refreshed and a further round of public consultation is expected to be held this autumn.