Sudbury: Prolog forging ahead with application despite job losses
Market support firm Prolog has confirmed that the loss of 28 jobs from its contact centre in Sudbury will not prevent it from forging ahead with plans to build a £50million development on the outskirts of the town.
The company is undergoing a month-long consultation with staff over redundancies, after announcing it would have to close its contact centre at Sulby House in North Street after losing several accounts.
The remaining call centre work will be transferred to Prolog’s Nottingham premises.
Babergh District Council gave the company the go-ahead to build two huge warehouses, offices and a service yard, on land off Church Field Road more than a year ago.
But because of concerns about the impact the large-scale buildings would have on the landscape and the nearby Grade I-listed St Mary’s Church and Grade II*-listed Chilton Hall, a list of planning conditions was attached.
The authority has been in talks with Prolog for the past six months about changes the company wants to make to the planning provisos. Prolog director Peter Tyrer described the delay as “frustrating” but said he was hopeful the plan would go back to Babergh’s planning committee next month for a final decision.
He added: “We thought we had agreed a section 106 that was acceptable, but at the last minute the lawyer acting for the council has come up with one or two points that have not yet been disclosed to us.
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“We were expecting this to go back to Babergh on June 12 but now of course that can’t happen. It’s frustrating but I am still confident we can get to something that’s acceptable.”
Ten members of the public spoke about the application earlier this week when it was discussed by Sudbury Town Council’s planning committee, which voted to refuse Prolog’s amendments because they would “substantially reduce the community benefits” outlined in the original application.
Committee member John Sayers said: “We felt there was no guarantee that the warehousing Prolog is proposing on that site will be capable of generating 500 jobs, and their obligation to the environment has also been reduced.
“The town council supports economic development and sustainable employment in Sudbury so we have asked that the application is agreed only the basis of the original 106 conditions.”
Mr Tyrer said he was confident the development could still deliver 500 new jobs as promised. He added: “Based on our use of other warehouses around the country, our view is that we will produce those jobs.
“The bulk of the site will be warehousing but there will be some office space which will give us the ability to be flexible going forward, depending on the type of business we generate.”
A Babergh spokesman confirmed that no agreement had been reached about the planning conditions and no date had been set for the meeting.