Sudbury: £50m Prolog development up for discussion
A proposal for a development that would create 500 jobs in west Suffolk is due to be discussed again by Babergh planners next week – more than a year after the scheme was given the green light.
In May 2012, Babergh District Council gave Sudbury-based market support firm Prolog the go-ahead to build a £50million development with two huge warehouses, offices and a service yard, on land off Church Field Road.
But because of concerns about the impact the large-scale buildings would have on the landscape and the nearby Grade I-listed St Mary’s Church and Grade II*-listed Chilton Hall, a list of conditions was attached to planning consent to mitigate the impact of the development.
Six months later, the firm issued a new list of provisos, including that they should be given seven years to build the development and only be required to occupy the buildings for 18 months following completion.
However, Babergh did not agree with the amendments and the situation reached a stalemate.
But now a revised list of conditions will be considered by Babergh’s planning committee at a meeting next Wednesday.
English heritage has objected to the scheme due to the impact it could have on the listed buildings. Chilton Parish Council has also opposed the revised proposal because members believe the new conditions would not guarantee the creation of 500 jobs.
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But Babergh’s lead member for economic development, Simon Barrett, said he was confident of Prolog’s committment to Sudbury, and the creation of jobs.
According to Mr Barrett, the Prolog application is just one of several “stalled” applications the district authority is keen to move on.
Last night, he told the EADT: “(The council) recognises the development could cause harm to the listed buildings but the overriding factor here is that the jobs are there and that must take priority.
“It has taken too long to get to this stage and we cannot afford for Prolog to move out of Sudbury. They already provide around 400 jobs and there will be 500 additional jobs coming from the new development.
“Prolog is committed to Sudbury and the jobs they are offering will be the right sort of jobs to suit the skills of Sudbury people.”
The town has been identified by Babergh as a principal location for development and in her report to the committee, the council’s planning chief Christine Thurlow said: “It is clear that this development proposal relating to the likely creation of up to 500 jobs in the market town of Sudbury is a key application, critical to the success of the Suffolk Growth Strategy.”
Prolog director Peter Tyrer said the company had now put forward conditions that it felt would be acceptable, and he hoped the committee would back them.
He added: “As far as we are concerned, nothing has changed but some of the restrictions that were being set would have made the scheme unfundable and therefore commercially unacceptable.”