Woodbridge ‘cheese wedge’ homes to be approved as ‘call-in’ by Whitehall rejected

A CGI view of the proposed homes as seem across the meadow fropm the riverside end of the site at Me

A CGI view of the proposed homes as seem across the meadow fropm the riverside end of the site at Melton Hill. Picture: HOOPERS ARCHITECTS - Credit: Archant

Controversial homes branded by opponents as looking like “cheese wedges” are set to get the final go-ahead this week – after the Government decided not to call in the project.

Suffolk Coastal councillors gave their backing to the proposals for 100 homes on the site of the authority’s old offices at Melton Hill, Woodbridge, last autumn.

However, councillors said the issue of affordable homes needed to be resolved, car parking finalised, and the Deben Road boundary settled to minimise impact on residents of that street.

They also wanted to be assured that Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, would not be “calling in” the decision for review.

The council has now received a letter from Mr Javid’s department saying the minister has “carefully considered this case against call-in policy”, and believes planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible and would not call it in.

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On April 19, the planning committee will again consider Active Urban (Woodbridge) Ltd’s plans for the homes in 14 blocks up to five storeys high, community and café space, pedestrian thoroughfare to the river and underground parking – and will be advised that officers are satisfied councillors’ concerns have been overcome.

The project, which received more than 330 objections, will provide 32 affordable homes. This is one less than expected but removes the need for one property to be separated from the others and planners believe it will be “viable and deliverable” in this format.

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Seven extra car parking spaces will be provided to create 106, while changes have been agreed to the Deben Road frontage to improve landscaping and reduce overlooking.

Case officer Liz Beighton said: “It is considered that for the reasons stated in the report (to be presented to planning committee), all the outstanding matters from the October planning committee have been appropriately and robustly considered and resolved by officers and as such the application is presented to the committee for approval subject to appropriate conditions.”

Opponents labelled the design of the homes as “cheese wedges” and were concerned about height and density, but planners felt it was a bold design, an “acceptable and positive approach”.

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