Woodbridge faces fight against 215 new homes

Woodbridge - 215 new homes could be built on farmland heading towards Martlesham

Woodbridge - 215 new homes could be built on farmland heading towards Martlesham - Credit: Archant

Developers are proposing to build 215 new homes on the edge of Woodbridge – almost opposite land earmarked for 100 properties.

Announcement of the scheme for 31 acres of farmland on the border of the riverside town and Martlesham comes just days after a scheme was unveiled for 300 houses at nearby Kesgrave.The prospect of the Woodbridge/Martlesham scheme was raised last year and was condemned by the then mayor Geoff Holdcroft, who said the project had “absolutely no merit whatsoever” and was “unwelcome and undeliverable”.

He said the location was unsuitable as it fell outside the physical limits of the town, contrary to planning policy, and also posed environmental concerns.

The scheme submitted by Cheshire-based Gladman Developments has been modified since it was first mooted – the number of homes reduced from 250 to 215, with one-third of them affordable housing – but is still sure to raise hackles in the town.

The site is off Ipswich Road and Top Street at the back of Dukes Park, going away down to Sandy Lane and the east Suffolk railway line.

Proposals have already been submitted for around 100 homes on the other side of Ipswich Road in a project which would see Woodbridge Town Football Club move to a new ground.

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Artists’ impressions show the Gladman Development homes would mostly be built immediately at the rear of homes in Dukes Park and at the other end of the site, leaving a swathe of open space and a lake through the centre of the estate. The convenience store would be near the entrance off Ipswich Road.

The scheme would also include a 400 sq m convenience store with car parking, and a children’s play area.

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FPCR Environment and Design, consultants acting for the developers, said the overall vision for the site was “to provide a distinctive and high quality place, reflecting the qualities and character” of Woodbridge and the AONB.

There would be a wide mix of housing types, improvements to the public footpath network, and a new bus stop in Top Street.

The developer claims the site offers the “logical extension” of the town, while helping to satisfy the “increasing need” for housing in the district.

FPCR said: “Suffolk Coastal District Council currently does not have an adequate level of land to meet their five-year housing requirement.

“Given that the housing requirement currently set out in the Core Strategy will shortly be under review, it is possible that additional housing may be required. As a result, it is likely that the council will need to find even more housing land and additional new deliverable sites to meet this increasing need in the short to medium term.”

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