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Developers understood to have appealed against Melton Hill housing refusal

PUBLISHED: 19:00 01 May 2019

A CGI view of the proposed homes as seem across the meadow fropm the riverside end of the site at Melton Hill. Picture: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS

A CGI view of the proposed homes as seem across the meadow fropm the riverside end of the site at Melton Hill. Picture: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS

Archant

Plans to develop the former Melton Hill council site in Woodbridge have taken another turn after developers lodged an appeal against the rejection of their latest plans.

Suffolk Coastal's former offices in Melton Hill remain empty Picture: ANDREW HIRSTSuffolk Coastal's former offices in Melton Hill remain empty Picture: ANDREW HIRST

The application would have seen 100 new houses at the former home of Suffolk Coastal District Council but it was refused.

Now Active Urban have lodged an appeal against the decision.

It was the second time plans had been submitted for the development, known locally as the “cheese wedges”, by developers Active Urban.

In April 2018 plans which included 32 affordable homes were backed by planners.

However, last summer the plans were withdrawn by Active Urban, which then submitted a new application which reduced the number of affordable homes to 15.

The developers also applied for Vacant Building Credit (VBC) on the site; a scheme which encourages developers to utilise brownfield sites.

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In November 2018, planning officers decided that the site had not been vacant long enough to qualify for the credit and refused the application.

Active Urban were left with six months to appeal the council's decision.

It is understood that an appeal has now been lodged and is waiting to be validated by the Planning Inspectorate.

The validation process will take one to two weeks, while a final decision could be several months away.

A spokesman for East Suffolk Council said: “'If challenged, East Suffolk Council will vigorously defend the decision taken by the Planning Committee on 22 January 2019 to refuse the application to put 100 homes on the site of the old Suffolk Coastal District Council office on Melton Hill, Woodbridge.

“The key reason for the application being rejected was the developer's plan to reduce the number of affordable homes that would be provided, from the 32 homes originally proposed for the site.

“Whilst acknowledging the benefits arising from the development, the planning committee felt these were outweighed by the harm which would be caused by the under-provision of affordable housing in an area where there is significant demand and need for affordable homes.”

Active Urban was contacted for comment.

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