Town's £500m plans revealed

LARGE areas of open space separating rural villages from a Suffolk market town may be swallowed up as part of an ambitious £500m development.Details of the 10-year Chilton masterplan, earmarked for the edge of Sudbury, were unveiled to the public for the first time yesterday.

LARGE areas of open space separating rural villages from a Suffolk market town may be swallowed up as part of an ambitious £500m development.

Details of the 10-year Chilton masterplan, earmarked for the edge of Sudbury, were unveiled to the public for the first time yesterday.

And although concerns have been raised over the project, those leading the scheme are confident it will provide great benefits for the town.

As details of the project went on display at Sudbury town hall yesterday, it was revealed the huge development would swallow-up large open spaces between the boundaries of Sudbury, Acton and Great Waldingfield.

The plans include 700 new homes, ranging from one-bedroom flats to luxury five bedroom properties. Of those, around 245 will provide affordable homes.

Land close to the existing Woodhall Business Park has also been set aside to build up to 20 new factories, and is expected to create at least 500 new jobs.

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It was also revealed for the first time that 5.3 hectares of land north of Waldingfield Road will be used for further employment facilities, including a waste transfer station and a household recycling and refuse depot - which have caused concern among some residents.

Other fears have been raised over plans to close part of Acton Lane, which links Acton to Sudbury. Proposals showed the road south of Newman's Green would be closed, with a new relief route built across the development to take traffic onto Waldingfield Road.

Another access route onto the development will be built linking the Tesco roundabout to an existing spine road.

The exhibition also showed plans for a new primary school and associated playing fields on the site of the existing All Saints Primary School.

A shopping complex will also be built to serve the new community, with 1.8 hectares set aside for leisure facilities, to include football pitches. An area of 30.2 hectares will be used to create a community woodland within the new development.

The ambitious project is being led by the Cambridge-based Ashwell Property Group, in conjunction with Suffolk County Council and Babergh District Council.

One of the main fears is the amount of extra traffic that will be generated within the town centre and through the surrounding parishes.

Simon Bulter-Finbow, Ashwell's Chilton development officer, promised all concerns would be considered and used to help draw up the final plans for the site.

He said: "The idea of this exhibition is to get views from the public and to get ideas from them. We will go away and look at all the points made before we make more detailed plans.

"We will come back in April or May for further public consultation and then draw up the final designs and put them to the council."

The Chilton development is included in the second draft of Babergh District Council's local plan, which is subject to a public inquiry in September.

If the plan is improved Suffolk County Council hope to start work on the site, which will take-up to 10 years to complete, in 2006.

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