Council urged to consult community about plans for former offices

A drawing of the proposed 'cheese wedges' the Melton Hill offices, which did not go ahead

A drawing of the proposed 'cheese wedges' the Melton Hill offices, which did not go ahead - Credit: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS

A council will be urged to consult more with the public before giving the go ahead for any plans to redevelop its former offices. 

Woodbridge Mayor Sue Bale will be meeting with East Suffolk Council on April 11 to urge that her community has a much greater say in the future of the former Suffolk Coastal District Council offices on Melton Hill. 

The property was vacated five years ago when the local authority moved to its current home at Riduna Park, Melton, but has been the subject of interest from developers. 

Active Urban (Woodbridge Ltd) applied to build 100 homes, known locally as the ‘cheese wedges,’ because of their distinctive shape, but the plans were abandoned in February 2020 following complications from a planning appeal on the site. 

The former Suffolk Coastal District Council offices in Melton Hill, Woodbridge

The former Suffolk Coastal District Council offices in Melton Hill, Woodbridge - Credit: Katy Sandalls

Mrs Bale said as planning permission had already been granted for the ‘cheese wedges,’ which would be officially known as King’s View, there would be nothing that could be done if a future applicant wished to revive the same scheme. 

However, if new plans were proposed, she wanted the opinions of residents to be engaged before determining what happens on the site and the appearance of the development. 

Sue Bale is the new mayor of Woodbridge

Sue Bale is the mayor of Woodbridge - Credit: JEREMY BALE

“If somebody develops it exactly as it has been planned, then the public will get no further say in it as it has been approved. We are waiting to see who the developers are and what the plans are,” Mrs Bale said. 

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She will be attending the meeting in her capacity as chair of Woodbridge Town Council’s planning committee and will also be joined by the chair of Melton Parish Council’s planning committee. 

The 3.23-acre site, which sits close to Woodbridge town centre and overlooks the River Deben, was put back up for sale in July 2021 after the ‘cheese wedges’ development did not go ahead. 

In January, a spokesperson for East Suffolk Council said discussions with developers were ongoing and an announcement on the sale ‘will follow in due course.’