Decision makers visit old haunt before meeting on ‘cheese wedge’ homes

A CGI aerial view of the proposed development of the former Suffolk Coastal HQ site on Melton Hill,

A CGI aerial view of the proposed development of the former Suffolk Coastal HQ site on Melton Hill, Woodbridge. Picture: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS - Credit: Archant

District councillors revisited offices they vacated last December, ahead of a decisive meeting into plans for new housing on the edge of Woodbridge.

Suffolk Coastal District Council planning committee site visit. Picture: TOM POTTER

Suffolk Coastal District Council planning committee site visit. Picture: TOM POTTER - Credit: Archant

Members of Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee toured the area around the council’s former headquarters on Melton Hill.

The site visit was recommended by planning officers before the committee considers whether or not to allow 100 new homes to be built in place of the old council offices.

Councillors were followed on the tour by developers and architects hoping to create 13 three-bedroom, 68 two-bedroom and 19 one-bedroom residential units, within 14 blocks, on the 3.23 acre site. They were also accompanied by local councillors and members of the public.

While all sides agree on the approach being ‘unashamedly bold’, interpretations of designs differ from developers’ contemporary ‘villas in a park’ overlooking Sutton Hoo and reflecting the character of Woodbridge, to protestors labelling the buildings overbearing ‘giant cheese wedges’.


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Suffolk Coastal’s head of planning, Philip Ridley, said the site visit was intended to allow councillors an opportunity for factual questions and answers with officers relating to the application, but that the application was not up for debate until the next planning committee meeting on October 13.

In a report ahead of the visit , he said: “It is acknowledged that the modern design is a matter which is causing local unrest, with concerns being raised that this is too modern for Woodbridge and that the town is not ready to accept such a dramatic design, which is notably different to other developments which have taken place.

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“The design of the development has been likened by some to wedges of cheese.

“The issue of design will be carefully balanced out in the detailed report to be presented to committee.”

Both Woodbridge Town Council and neighbouring Melton Parish Council recommended refusal of the application. More than 320 further objections were received during public consultation.

A full planning report will be prepared, with a recommendation to grant or refuse planning permission, before councillors meet on October 13 for formal consideration and determination.

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