Housing scheme 'looks like Holiday Inn'

CAMPAIGNERS have urged developers to return to the drawing board after designs for a sheltered housing complex for the elderly in Woodbridge were described as looking like a “Holiday Inn”.

By Richard Smith

CAMPAIGNERS have urged developers to return to the drawing board after designs for a sheltered housing complex for the elderly in Woodbridge were described as looking like a “Holiday Inn”.

Suffolk Preservation Society has criticised the proposals unveiled by McCarthy and Stone for 75 homes on 0.9hectares of land at Notcutts, Ipswich Road.

The scheme is part of a huge redevelopment of the garden centre site and work has already begun on a one-stop medical centre there.


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Suffolk Coastal District Council has failed to give a verdict on the housing scheme within the statutory time period. The developers have appealed and a public inquiry will be held.

The council will decide on November 9 on what the decision would have been if councillors had analysed the plans. This will then help officers establish their case at the appeal. They recommend the scheme is refused permission.

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Suffolk Preservation Society said it felt the new homes were like a slightly modified Travelodge or Holiday Inn.

''The design, despite an attempt to modify the skin with sympathetic elevational treatment, has more in common with the company's corporate and national identity and design rather than being either respectful of or in harmony with Suffolk or Woodbridge.

''The blocks are up to four storeys high. Combined with the size of the footprint their scale for such a small site will be overpowering.

''They appear to have been designed to ape the Edwardian houses of Ipswich Road but because of their size and scale it has clearly not worked,'' said the society. It wants a radical redesign.

Woodbridge Society also says the buildings are overpowering, and planning officers warn they would have a serious adverse impact on the Conservation Area. Officers also complain that the development is monotonous and bland.

However, McCarthy and Stone's planning statement said: ''The applicants are specialists in the design, construction and management of sheltered housing for sale to the elderly and have developed a wealth of experience in this particular sector of the housing market.

''All McCarthy and Stone developments are specifically designed to provide specialised housing accommodation for the elderly, with communal facilities and specific features within the apartments designed to meet the particular needs of the elderly.''

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