Work set to start on town development

WORK is due to start soon on a major multi-million pound project that will change the face of the entrance to a picturesque Suffolk town.The principle of the £5m development at the Notcutts garden centre in Ipswich Road, Woodbridge, was approved two years ago and since then the details have been under negotiation.

By Richard Smith

WORK is due to start soon on a major multi-million pound project that will change the face of the entrance to a picturesque Suffolk town.

The principle of the £5m development at the Notcutts garden centre in Ipswich Road, Woodbridge, was approved two years ago and since then the details have been under negotiation.

Now the construction of the £5million project is about to start and residents and visitors will see a gradual transformation of the six hectare site into a one-stop medical centre, 70 sheltered housing units and 28 open market flats, with nine affordable flats, and an expansion of the garden centre.


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A new roundabout will be built on Ipswich Road to provide access to the development.

The design of the doctors' surgery was criticised in representations received by the district council as looking “more like a retail shed than a doctors' surgery.”

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But district council officers welcomed the contemporary design and they said in a report to the development control sub committee: “The applicants have chosen a particular design solution, but other designers could well have arrived at a radically different, but no less valid, design.”

William Notcutt, group managing director, said yesterday: ''The doctors have got the approval they needed and Suffolk Coastal District Council authorised officers to determine our permission for the road network within the next three weeks.

“Demolition will start on site with the old glasshouses because they are in the way of anything and that will enable us to start the construction of a new storage yard, and then we can knock down the old packing shed.

“We do not want lorries going through the current entrance from a safety point of view and so we will put in a temporary access about a third of the way down Ipswich Road.

“During April and May we will start the preliminary works that will lead to the doctors being allowed to start on site and construction of the surgery is about a year.''

The medical centre for the Framfield House surgery will be a two-storey building with a floor space of 1,600sq metres.

There will be 13 consulting rooms, treatment rooms, nursing clinics, a dispensary, dentist, optician, pharmacy, three physiotherapy rooms, podiatry, a common room, kitchen, library, meeting room, and offices for social services and the primary care trust.

The provision of new clinics will reduce the number of referrals to hospital and there will be training for medical students. The existing surgery has nine full-time and 30 part-time staff.

The proposed development will involve another full-time post and 15 more part-time staff.

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