Developers asked to rethink Woodbridge police station plans after committee opposes housing bid
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Developers of plans to replace a police station with new homes have been asked to return to the drawing board amid concerns about overdevelopment.
A bid demolish Woodbridge Police Station and build six properties was opposed by the town council’s planning committee.
The objection was welcomed by neighbours concerned about traffic congestion and pressure on a narrow junction, who would rather see four large flats built, with the exterior of the pre-war building preserved.
Designs were drawn up following lack of interest in developing the site for employment when the police move into shared accommodation with the fire service.
Following discussions with planning officers, Marden Homes revised proposals to include a mix of detached and semi-detached properties, and to withdraw of a point of access in Grundisburgh Road, moving the entrance to adjoining Moor’s Way.
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Mayor of Woodbridge, Geoff Holdcroft said: “The planning committee made a decision following one of the fullest debates I have heard in a while.
“There is general consensus that something needs to be done at the site but the committee decided to object on grounds of overdevelopment.”
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The committee also had concerns about proximity to a neighbouring oak tree. Despite developers preparing a tree protection report, members wanted to hear the assessment of Suffolk Coastal’s own officer.
They raised further concerns that industrial activity at neighbouring Houchell building yard could lead incoming residents to complain about noise.
Mr Holdcroft said: “They will have to go back to the drawing board. How far back is another matter.
“They have heard the objections and will have to work with the planning officer to come up with something more suitable.
“I hope they will withdraw and reassess, rather than go forward in the face of objection.”
John Brownsord, a resident of Moor’s Way, called the decision a “welcome step”. He added: “The plans do nothing for sustainability, or to support young people trying to get on the housing ladder. We see it as aggressive development and a gross incursion on the building line.
“We are not against development but would rather see four apartments, with the facade of the existing building maintained and consideration given to access, which we are concerned will add traffic to a narrow and already busy road.”