Former Suffolk Coastal council offices in Melton, near Woodbridge, sold to developer Active Urban Property Group

The Suffolk Coastal District Council offices at Melton Hill have been sold for re-development, subje

The Suffolk Coastal District Council offices at Melton Hill have been sold for re-development, subject to planning permission being granted - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Coastal District Council has exchanged contracts subject to planning, with developer Active Urban Property Group, on the sale of their office accommodation at Melton Hill in Woodbridge.

The value of the deal is not being announced at this stage.

Cambridge-based Urban Active Property group describe themselves as the most prolific mixed-use developer in Cambridge, on their website.

They are active in residential and commercial and student accommodation.

Other projects in the region included residential schemes in Newmarket and Debenham.

This contractual commitment is the culmination of over three years work which has seen the estates team of local design and property consultants, Concertus providing advice and support to SCDC throughout.

As their existing offices were a 1960s building which was old fashioned and expensive to run, Concertus was initially called in to give advice on the options available to SCDC and how they could improve the working facilities and environment for their staff.

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This led to a feasibility study being carried out which provided the district council with alternatives and the basis for a business case. The decision was then taken to relocate to new premises close by and put the land and accommodation at Melton Hill up for sale.

Collaborating with SCDC and Savills, who marketed the sale, Concertus then proceeded to take up the negotiations and managed the discussions with the prospective developers who were interested in purchasing the 3.23-acre site.

Margaret Wells is Head of Estates at Concertus. She said: “This is a large, prestigious property deal and with our background and expertise in this market, we knew that it was important that SCDC showed a duty of responsibility, by not just selling to the highest bidder, but making sure that the resulting development would be accepted as a good fit by the surrounding community. Therefore, we managed the interviews and presentations given by the developers and helped SCDC in their decision on who to enter into further discussions with.” Margaret continued.

Concertus then went on to manage the negotiations and arbitrate between SCDC and the selected developer Cambridge-based, Active Urban, to ensure that the most robust deal was achieved.

Over the last few months, the multi-disciplinary property consultancy, has also strongly supported the relocation of SCDC’s staff and operations to their new eco-friendly offices at Riduna Park and this is due to be completed in December.

Completion on the sale is on course to take place in 2017, once planning consent has been agreed.