Suffolk Coastal HQ site should provide Woodbridge with nearly 70 new homes

Suffolk Coastal District Council's HQ - set to be demolished and sold to make way for housing.

Suffolk Coastal District Council's HQ - set to be demolished and sold to make way for housing. - Credit: Archant

Nearly 70 new homes could be built overlooking the River Deben at Woodbridge – on the site of a council’s current headquarters.

Suffolk Coastal has put the 3.23-acre site at Melton Hill up for sale for housing development as part of its plans to move to new offices at the former Girdlestones engineering works in Melton late next year.

Sale of its current site for a multi-million pound sum is a key part of the funding for the £3.9m project.

The district council plans to demolish all the existing buildings, except for the two historic buildings which front on to the main road, which are expected to be converted into homes.

It reckons the site, which overlooks the River Deben and has views across to Sutton Hoo, could provide 69 new houses and apartments.

Robert Whiting, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member with responsibility for resources and chairman of its accommodation project board, said:

“The sale of Melton Hill will create an exciting opportunity for new homes right next to Woodbridge town centre, with stunning views across the River Deben.

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“We are investing in a modern building, which is sustainable, cheaper to run and will be adaptable for our future needs.

“Our new base also has the additional benefit of using a brownfield site, which has stood derelict for some time, and we will be giving Melton a boost by moving into the village.

“Equally, we hope that freeing up the Melton Hill site will help the Woodbridge economy, by creating new homes in a prime location, within easy walking distance of the town centre shops.”

The council says its current HQ has become increasingly expensive to maintain and run and is now too big for its reduced staff. The new offices, to be built as part of a landscaped office village, is expected to save the authority £8m over the next 20 years in running costs.

Concertus Design & Property Consultants is acting on behalf of Suffolk Coastal and Savills have been instructed to market the property, which is being sold by informal tender, with offers required by noon on Thursday, June 4 with sale required to be completed by November/December 2016.