Suffolk Punch stud plans backed

THE ambitious plans to safeguard the future of a famous Suffolk horse stud were given another significant boost yesterday.Councillors on Suffolk Coastal District Council's development control sub committee unanimously supported the erection of a new visitor centre, craft workshop, exhibition arena and to make alterations to the current facilities at Sink Farm, Hollesley, near Woodbridge.

THE ambitious plans to safeguard the future of a famous Suffolk horse stud were given another significant boost yesterday.

Councillors on Suffolk Coastal District Council's development control sub committee unanimously supported the erection of a new visitor centre, craft workshop, exhibition arena and to make alterations to the current facilities at Sink Farm, Hollesley, near Woodbridge.

The Suffolk Punch Trust Ltd had already received planning permission in October to change the use from a facility owned by the nearby prison into an upgraded home for the Suffolk Punch horse with new facilities for Suffolk Sheep, Red Poll Cattle and Large Black Pigs.

However, another application was required to consider the location, scale and design of the buildings. Householders living in nearby Woodbridge Walk have complained about the access to the site and they are worried about the impact of having 25,000 visitors a year.


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But councillors were told that a Traffic Plan has been drawn up to limit the amount of traffic and to encourage the use of alternative transport.

The visitor centre has been restricted to opening at 10am at the earliest to ensure visitors and tourists do not increase the amount of peak-time traffic through the congested crossroads in Melton.

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Councillors were assured that planners had consulted widely about traffic issues but they had only received three letters raising objections about them.

Rhona Sturrock, Hollesley's district councillor, said: ''The parish council wholeheartedly supported the application. The people who did not support the application are those in Woodbridge Walk – but there have been 34 coaches with schoolchildren going to this stud which they deny any knowledge of.

''The coaches have not bothered them, they have not noticed them. I cannot see what the problem is and I will support this application. The site is becoming very, very derelict and this will be a great improvement.''

The cost of the project is estimated at £3,697,000. The trust hopes a Heritage Lottery Fund grant will provide £2,773,073. The capital costs include £450,000 to buy 180 acres of land and stud buildings, £100,000 for horses and equipment and £225,643 to refurbish the stable block.

A further £840,000 is needed for the visitor centre, £230,000 for craft workshops, £189,000 for the display arena and £223,098 for the car park and a new access road.

Anyone who would like to contribute the appeal should contact 01953 714123 or email suffolkpunchtrust@wren.org.uk

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