Suffolk parkland plans set to falter

AMBITIOUS multi-million pound plans to turn a former hotel site into a parkland with houses could fall at the first hurdle.Chater Land Holdings Ltd has applied to Suffolk Coastal District Council for outline planning permission to establish the principle of residential development on the site of the former Melton Grange hotel, on the border of Woodbridge and Melton.

AMBITIOUS multi-million pound plans to turn a former hotel site into a parkland with houses could fall at the first hurdle.

Chater Land Holdings Ltd has applied to Suffolk Coastal District Council for outline planning permission to establish the principle of residential development on the site of the former Melton Grange hotel, on the border of Woodbridge and Melton.

The hotel, which closed three years ago, is a mixture of building styles and the plans range from totalling demolishing the hotel and rebuilding it as a main house or rebuilding the historic 18th Century core.

Up to 14 homes would be in the grounds in the style of gate/entrance lodges, stable block, gardener's cottage and coach house.


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But the council is unhappy at the loss of an employment site and officers will claim in a report to the development control sub-committee on Tuesday that there is insufficient evidence to prove it had been marketed effectively.

A private school, hospital, country club, conference centre or a company's prestigious headquarters are possible uses put forward by the council.

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"Although the applicants indicate the site has in the past been marketed, concern is raised that it may not have been marketed effectively. It would appear from the information submitted that it was only actively marketed for five months in 2000 and only advertised in three different publications a total of four times.

"Although the applicant did not purchase the premises until July 2001, it would appear it has not been on the market for over two years," said the council's report.

Officers are asking councillors to refuse the housing plans for a variety of reasons including the loss of an employment site, the adverse effect on existing trees and a lack of information about the detail of the proposed houses.

Melton parish council and Melton Grange Residents' Association have supported the proposals and Woodbridge Society is also supporting the concept of new homes but the Society also wants the retention of a job-making use.

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