Consultation on 1,250-home Chilton Woods scheme in Sudbury set to restart

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

Initial plans for a 1,250-home development on the outskirts of Sudbury are expected to be revealed later this month.

The long-awaited 270-acre Chilton Woods scheme, which is one of the county’s key sites for delivering vital additional housing and employment over the next 20 years, has been beset with delays.

Two of Suffolk County Council’s development partners pulled out of the project with the most recent, Redrow Homes, abandoning its plans citing that escalating costs had made it unviable.

As the site’s major landowner, the county council resolved to invest £1.6million to get Chilton Woods back on track without a developer in place.

Changes have been made to improve the viability of the scheme including increasing the number of homes on the site from the original 1,050 planned to 1,250.

Public consultation on the latest concept plans is expected to start at the end of the month.

A spokesman for the authority said: “We haven’t got a specific date yet but it will be around the end of January and people will be able to view information and comment via the county council’s website.

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“We will also be organising drop in sessions in the local area.”

Jenny Antill, county councillor for the patch, said some aspects of the most recent plans had been tweaked, such as moving the community centre and relocating play areas. She added: “We are currently engaging with local members first to give them a heads up before the consultation begins. We really want to stimulate interest and encourage local people to have a say.”

But district councillor, Frank Lawrenson, who is part of the Chilton Woods place shaping group set up to work with consultants on what the development should contain, described it as “frustrating” that local members had not yet been shown the revised plans.

He said: “While we have had a number of presentations and discussions, it is impossible for us to comment because we haven’t seen the final proposals.

“We have been through a number of consultations with the previous developers and we have seen things that we really liked, but so far we haven’t seen anything from the county council.

“We have tried to be very clear on issues such as transport and infrastructure and the quality of housing, which are critically important.

“I am confident that in the county council, we now have a body that is committed to making this happen because they want to maximise the use of their land and Babergh has this development in their core strategy.

“It is however a little worrying that the formal planning process is expected to happen in March but as yet we have seen nothing we can comment on or review.”