A COMMUNITY has turned out in force to learn more about ambitious proposals to transform a derelict boatyard.

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Developers have outlined an £8m vision for the Whisstocks site in Woodbridge. A public exhibition has been held over the last two days in the town’s Crown hotel, allowing people to view the plans and raise any questions they might have. The proposals have been put together by Norwich-based developers FW Properties following talks with the Whisstocks Project CIC (Community Interest Company) and other groups.

The CIC’s Malcolm Hodd said they have had a remarkable response from members of the public - with the exhibition room full on both days.

“It’s been very positive,” he said. “We have had the kind of objections you might expect with regards to the proposed holiday homes but overall people have said it is fantastic that something is being done because the site has been derelict for too long. They like the community aspects and the fact the developer is giving the freehold of two of the buildings to the town.”

The proposal is for four separate buildings - central to which would be a working boat shed in which it is envisaged an Anglo-Saxon ship could be built, an exact working replica of that discovered at nearby Sutton Hoo.

The scheme also features a heritage building for Woodbridge Museum and a community outdoor space that could be used all year round.

There would also be room for a restaurant, a cafe, a bar and two shops along with 14 holiday homes on the upper levels of two of the buildings overlooking the estuary.

The boatshed and the heritage building would both be donated to the community by the developer and held in perpetuity by Woodbridge Town Council. The proposals also include the re-development of the nearby Nunn’s Mill site into seven new town houses, four flats and two commercial units.

People have until February 15 to comment on the plans. Email info@whisstocksproject.co.uk or write to Whisstocks Project, Sun Wharf, Deben Road, Woodbridge IP12 1AZ.

N The Woodbridge and Melton Riverside Trust is holding a public meeting at Woodbridge Community Hall from 7.30pm on Sunday, February 10 to discuss the plans. It will be chaired by Lord Deben, John Gummer.

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