October 25 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Businesses in the Sudbury area are being consulted about plans that could see up to 1,250 homes and an industrial area built on the outskirts of the town.
The long-awaited 270-acre Chilton Woods scheme is one of Suffolk’s key sites for delivering vital additional housing and employment over the next 20 years.
It is also identified in Babergh District Council’s core strategy as an economic growth area.
Suffolk County Council – as the major landowner – is currently consulting with Babergh and other stakeholders to help form a masterplan ahead of a formal planning application.
The idea is to get planning permission in place by the end of the year.
In a bid to ensure that the development delivers the appropriate mix and scale of uses to assist economic growth in the area and boost employment, surveys have just been sent out to existing business in the Sudbury area.
Information from the questionnaire will be used to ensure that the development provides the right size and specification of units and the appropriate scale of infrastructure to support cost effective business expansion.
It asks questions about why business owners have chosen Sudbury as the location for their enterprise, how current premises could be improved to enable expansion and whether traders would consider relocating within Sudbury or the surrounding area.
It also asks which initiatives Babergh could implement to help businesses expand.
Simon Barrett, Babergh’s lead member for economic development, said: “We have had several enquiries from businesses that want to expand, but at the moment we haven’t got any land available to accommodate them.
“Chilton Woods will have 33 hectares of employment land included. It makes the case easier if we have potential businesses wanting to take up units there.”
The Chilton Woods proposal has been beset with delays, with two of the county council’s development partners pulling out of the project.
Redrow Homes abandoned its plans, citing that escalating costs had made the project unviable. But earlier this year, the county council resolved to invest £1.6million to get Chilton Woods back on track and pledged to move forward without a developer in place.
The Chilton Woods place shaping group has been reconvened and is expected to meet again tonight.
Colin Spence, who is a member of the group, said: “We really need to get the Chilton Woods project moving again and it is good to see that consultation is under way.
“We have been in this position twice before and then the developers have pulled out.
“It’s a really big thing for Sudbury so I hope people will still take the time to get involved in the consultation this time around.”