Chilton: Development plan for Chilton Woods is submitted to planning inspector

Part fo the site that was earmarked for the new Chilton Woods development near Sudbury

Part fo the site that was earmarked for the new Chilton Woods development near Sudbury - Credit: Archant

LANDOWNERS and local authorities are hopeful they can convince a planning inspector a 1,050-home scheme is viable - despite there being no developer on board.

On Friday, Babergh District Council submitted its proposal for Chilton Woods to the Government’s planning inspector, Phillip Ware. He had questioned the future viability of the scheme last month after the prospective developer, Redrow Homes, pulled out.

But Babergh District Council, Suffolk County Council - which supports the proposal as the majority landowner - and the other landowners have said the new development plan would provide reassurance the scheme at Chilton Woods will be delivered.

Lindsay Barker, a director for Babergh District and Mid Suffolk Councils, said the landowners are committed to achieving outline planning permission for the site, which would make it more attractive to prospective developers. Also, the estimated £13million cost for installing electricity - which is understood to have been a reason Redrow pulled out - has now been reduced by about £5.4m.

Miss Barker added the commitment of the county council to lead the planning process would also give the planning inspector confidence in the scheme.

“We are really pleased with the work that we have done with the county council and the other landowners to ensure Chilton Woods remains a viable development area. We believe, with this new development plan, we can convince the planning inspector that the development can go ahead and will make a big contribution to a prosperous Sudbury.”

Miss Barker said the county council had not sought further developer interest at the moment as, after Redrow pulled out, the focus had been on convincing the planning inspector Babergh’s Core Strategy - which includes the strategic land allocation for Chilton Woods - is sound.

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Bryn Griffiths, assistant director in economy skills and environment at Suffolk County Council, said the county council was “completely committed to making the Chilton Woods development a success”.

Chilton Parish Council chairman, Peter Clifford, said the parish council was “very keen” for the development to go ahead and a genuine reduction in the electricity cost would make the project “a bit more viable”. “However, before there’s any planning consent the parish council would like to see what the offers are for the community.”

While the landowners and Babergh District Council said they saw facilities like neighbourhood and community centres and green public space as key to any development, Mr Clifford said “the devil is in the detail”.

Miss Barker said it was hoped a planning application for Chilton Woods would be approved in spring or summer next year. The planning inspector will make a decision on the Core Strategy later this year.