Second phase of Hardwick Industrial Estate homes development gets approval after 13 years of delays
- Credit: Archant
The second phase of a key 125-home development in Bury St Edmunds which has been in the pipeline for more than 13 years can finally go ahead after planning approval was secured.
Plans for the revamp of the former Hardwick Industrial Estate were approved in 2007, and the first phase of that for 68 properties, 35 retirement homes and a new office for charity for Headway have already been completed.
But the final 57 homes have not been forthcoming, with issues around the costs and underground parking plans holding up progress on the second phase.
On Wednesday morning, developer Abbots Gate Ltd secured approval for a revised phase two of 66 homes, which should see the scheme finally completed.
Laura Dudley-Smith from Strutt and Parker, agents on behalf of the developers, said: “Only part of this site has been constructed, leaving 57 homes undelivered. This application seeks to ensure the viable delivery of the remainder.
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“The fact that this site has remained undelivered for around 12 years demonstrates the constraints of the previous approved scheme.
“The revisions will therefore allow for the completion of the site, decontamination, landscaping and transfer of the water meadow land and open space to West Suffolk Council, which will not happen unless the site’s redevelopment is completed.”
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She added that it delivers “approved homes on a brownfield site in a sustainable location”.
It is not yet clear when work will begin, but the developers anticipate a two-year timescale for completion.
Alongside the completion of the development, financial contributions of £51,000 for primary school provision, £41,000 affordable housing, £47,500 for the King Edward school expansion, £23,700 sixth form provision and £60,000 for open space have also been agreed.
West Suffolk Council’s development control committee agreed with just one abstention to green lighting the proposals.
However, some concerns remained outstanding. Bury St Edmunds Town Council opposed in regard to fears over access, design, density, building heights and a lack of outside space, while Southgate ward councillors Ann Williamson and Patrick Chung in their response added questions over the access road.
“Already this road can be congested with cars parked on the bends and footpaths, adding further traffic will no doubt lead to further parking and access issues,” their response said.
“This traffic will also add to the already heavily congested Hardwick Lane at peak times.”