Deal signed for £500m development

WORK on a £500m development including hundreds of homes, factories, a new school and shopping facilities in a market town could begin in 2006.Suffolk County Council has now signed contracts with developers to build the scheme on the edge of Sudbury, which could provide up to 500 jobs.

WORK on a £500m development including hundreds of homes, factories, a new school and shopping facilities in a market town could begin in 2006.

Suffolk County Council has now signed contracts with developers to build the scheme on the edge of Sudbury, which could provide up to 500 jobs.

The scheme would change the face of the town and Cambridgeshire-based Ashwell Property Group will partner the county council to create the development on over 270 acres of land in the Chilton area of Sudbury.

The development is included in the second draft of Babergh District Council's local plan, which will be subject to a public inquiry in September next year.


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The county council hopes the scheme will be approved following the public inquiry and work could then start by 2006.

Once the development is completed it will stretch from behind the town's Tesco store, running across land at the back of the Springlands and the Bovis estates, ending at Waldingfield Road.

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Around 700 houses would be built on the site, 35% of which would be set aside for social and affordable homes. A total of 20 hectares of the site would be set aside for industrial development, on which it is envisaged a minimum of 20 new factories will be built, creating at least 500 new jobs.

Land would also be used to build a small shopping complex to serve the new community. New leisure amenities, including football pitches and a community building, would also be incorporated into the plan.

A primary school and linked facilities would also be built on the campus of the existing All Saints Middle School.

A wooded buffer strip will also go up around the tiny hamlet of Newman's Green, to help the community maintain its individual identity.

Babergh's head of planning policy and economic development Neil Greig said: "It is possible the work could start by 2006, but the second draft of our Local Plan has still got to go through a public inquiry next September. As we don't know how long that will take it is difficult to be precise about an exact time-scale.

"Together with Ashwell we are about to start to carrying out consultation within the locality to try and iron out any problems or concerns.

"This would be a very positive scheme for Sudbury and our members have backed us on this because they see the key needs in Sudbury as more affordable homes and employment prospects. This development would also help provide the town with new amenities."

The Ashwell Property Group is also involved in a £40m project to provide the Ministry of Defence with service family accommodation in the Wattisham area and a £20m mixed-used development and neighbourhood centre at the former Ipswich airport terminal set.

County portfolio holder for resources Ray Nowak said: "We are looking forward to working with the Ashwell Group on the Chilton project. It aims to deliver a high-quality development which satisfies housing needs and attracts inward investment to the area."

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