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'Cheese wedge' homes recommended to be approved

PUBLISHED: 12:38 18 October 2019

An impression of what the front of the Melton Hill housing development could look like Picture: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS/AUPG

An impression of what the front of the Melton Hill housing development could look like Picture: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS/AUPG

Hoopers Architects/AUPG

The controversial cheese wedges application could be given the go ahead next week after East Suffolk Council were recommended to approve the site.

The development, known locally as the cheese wedges but which has the official name of King's View, would see the creation of 100 new homes at the former Melton Hill offices of Suffolk Coastal District Council in Woodbridge.

The current plan being considered is the third application to be entered by developer Active Urban Woodbridge Ltd for the site in the past three years.

The original application, was given full backing by the-then Suffolk Coastal District Council in April 2018 after developers answered council queries about parking and affordable housing.

However, in August 2018 the application was withdrawn and replaced by a new proposal which included less affordable housing and instead called for vacant building credit (VBC) to be awarded.

VBC encourages developers to use brownfield sites.

This application was dismissed by councillors in November as the site had not been empty enough for the credit to apply.

In July 2019, a third set of proposals were submitted which re-instated the full amount of affordable homes.

East Suffolk's planning committee has now been recommended to approve this latest application for the site subject to a number of conditions.

In their report to councillors, planning officers concluded that the benefits of the scheme outweighed any harm identified.

Among these conditions is that construction will not be given the go-ahead until East Suffolk has approved the affordable housing scheme for the site.

Plans for the proposed piece of public art for the site will also need to be approved.

Local resident Barry Zins has been watching the plans with interest for the last few years.

"I don't think it should be approved. Nobody is supporting this and there are significant problems with the affordable housing."

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Mr Zins said he would be writing to councillors to ask them to consider the application carefully.

He hopes that if the plans are approved the proposals will be subjected to a judicial review.

Active Urban Woodbridge Ltd were contacted for comment.

East Suffolk planning committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss the application.

View from local councils

Woodbridge Mayor Eamonn O'Nolan said: "Woodbridge Town Council has rejected the application on all three occasions.

"People are strongly opposed to it"

Mr O'Nolan said that this was supported by the hundreds of comments opposing the plans that had been submitted to East Suffolk.

"It's not good for planners to destroy virtually every mature tree on the site," added Mr O'Nolan.

Melton Parish Council chairman Alan Porter and Buffy Barrington from the council's planning committee said: "Melton Parish Council, in support of the majority of residents in both Woodbridge and Melton, continues to object to this Planning Application along with two important national organisations (The National Trust and Historic England) and three other large local organisations.

"There are a huge number of very genuine and serious planning reasons why this application should be rejected.

"The density of the proposed development, the traffic implications for an area which already records a very serious Air Quality Issue and the consequences for an area of national importance and outstanding beauty are ones which will be felt for decades if the district council allows this through."

Active Urban Woodbridge Ltd were contacted for comment.

East Suffolk planning committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss the application.

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