Shotley: Parish set to keep up Ganges pressure after homes application approved

Images of the proposed new housing development at HMS Ganges, Shotley

Images of the proposed new housing development at HMS Ganges, Shotley - Credit: Contributed

Parish councillors from Shotley are set to keep up the pressure on developers Haylink and Babergh district after the controversial redevelopment of the former HMS Ganges site was approved on Wednesday.

Shotley Parish Council had been in favour of the proposed redevelopment of the site which has not had any permanent use since the Royal Navy moved out in the 1970s.

However shortly before this week’s planning meeting the parish withdrew its support because of fears that the district would not be able to impose the conditions needed to ensure the retention of the iconic mast and concerns about disruption during the construction process.

Parish council chairman Richard Wrinch said: “We have seen the site deteriorate significantly over the last four decades and the proposal does enhance that heritage and build on what is already there.

“It is a much better proposal than the one that was rejected a few years ago – but we have very serious concerns about the Section 106 agreements that were imposed (the conditions that make demands on the developers).”

The developers have been told to spend £2.5 million on enhancing the heritage of the site, including restoring the mast, and a further £1 million on improvements to local communities on the Shotley peninsula.

The total cost of infrastructure improvements is put at £7 million.

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However Mr Wrinch said the parish was also concerned that the spine road through the site would only be built once 100 of the 285 homes there had been built: “The road network is very difficult, and we need this road to be completed first – to reduce pressure on Bristol Hill.”

A spokesman for Babergh said the council would be monitoring the development to ensure the agreement was kept and could take legal action if there was a breach.

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