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Griff says 'cheese wedge' homes plan puts town 'under considerable threat'

PUBLISHED: 08:26 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:26 07 August 2019

A CGI giving an aerial view of how the development could look stretching down towards the Deben  Picture: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS

A CGI giving an aerial view of how the development could look stretching down towards the Deben Picture: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS

Comedian and actor Griff Rhys Jones has expressed his anguish at plans for 100 new homes in Woodbridge - saying the proposals put the town "under considerable threat".

Griff Rhys Jones  Picture: STEVE ULLATHORNEGriff Rhys Jones Picture: STEVE ULLATHORNE

The homes - labelled "cheese wedges" by opponents because of their design - would be built on the site of the former district council's HQ on Melton Hill.

In a letter to the East Anglian Daily Times, Mr Jones said the town was "under considerable threat" from the plans and implored the people of Woodbridge: "Don't let the twenty first century get things wrong."

He said: "If accepted they would change the character of one of the best preserved and best loved urban environments in Suffolk and wreck a prospect from an important historic location across the river.

"It would set a bad precedent for this lovely place."

Suffolk Coastal's former HQ at Melton Hill, Woodbridge, will make way for the development Picture: SIMON PARKERSuffolk Coastal's former HQ at Melton Hill, Woodbridge, will make way for the development Picture: SIMON PARKER

Mr Jones didn't doubt the need for housing in the area but said the development was over dominant and bears the look of an urban development in a big city, and didn't really address affordable housing needs.

In its latest - third - application for the site, Active Urban upped the number of affordable properties on the site after its previous application was turned down.

Mr Jones, who is the president of the Victorian Society, implored planners to think of what could be lost as a result of the application.

"A passer-by would also notice several beautiful mature trees, a fine Victorian house and an imposing and dignified Edwardian building and wonder how such things could possibly be swept away," said Mr Jones.

"The planning committee must surely listen to the Woodbridge Society, the National Trust, Historic England and the Suffolk Preservation Society, who have all expressed reservations."

There are currently over 200 comments objecting to the plans on the East Suffolk planning website with concerns ranging from the building's design to whether there was a demand for such properties.

Active Urban was approached for a respose to Mr Jones' comments.

An agent for Active Urban said previously: "It is recognised that some concerns have been expressed about the design of the scheme, however the proposal has been considered on two previous occasions by the planning committee at East Suffolk Council and the design approach was supported.

"We are confident that this will be a fitting design for the site and will be a highly attractive development."

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