Alternative plans unveiled for factory site

CAMPAIGNERS fighting controversial plans to build business units on a redundant factory site have unveiled their own proposals for the area.

The Girdlestone Action Group (GAG) and Melton Parish Council have teamed up with Ash Sakula architects to come up with a new scheme for the old pump suppliers’ engineering works in Station Road, Melton, near Woodbridge,

Earlier this year developers Riduna Holdings Ltd re-submitted their own plans for the site - which would see a two storey complex of offices, workshops, a caf� and a shop.

But campaigners from GAG and the parish council believe the proposals would be an over development and among other concerns fear it will lead to an increase in traffic and create an adverse visual impact.

As a result they asked London based architects Ash Sakula, who were behind the plans for the new Adnams building in Southwold, to design a scheme that was more acceptable.

More than 100 villagers attended a meeting last week to hear about the alternative project, which includes business units, homes, flats and shops and would link the Girdlestone site with a neighbouring plot that is currently up for sale.

Robert Sakula, a partner with Ash Sakula architectural practice, said: “We agreed that the best way to move things forward was to create an alternative vision that would be a natural extension of the village - rather than this slightly alien design that has been proposed.

Most Read

“Hopefully we have been able to show that it is possible to create a bespoke scheme that is acceptable to everyone.”

Martin Whitaker, vice chairman of GAG, added: “There was unanimous vote at the meeting to continue to fight against the current proposals.

“We asked Ash Sakula to put in as much detail as possible and they took a lot of trouble looking around the village. Now we would like to discuss the proposals with the district council.

“We all understand that the site needs redevelopment - that’s not in dispute. But the current plans are wrong. What Ash Sakula are proposing is more acceptable.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said they would be happy to consider any fresh plans for the site but it was up to landowners Riduna Holdings to accept any new scheme.

Riduna Holdings were unavailable for comment last night.

The district council are likely to discuss the proposals at a planning meeting on March 4.