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Woodbridge/Martlesham: Plans for 250 homes to be built near east Suffolk beauty spot

PUBLISHED: 14:38 08 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:38 08 August 2014

Woodbridge mayor and district councillor Geoff Holdcroft

Woodbridge mayor and district councillor Geoff Holdcroft

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Plans have been drawn for up to 250 homes to be built near an east Suffolk beauty spot.

Gladman Developments has begun a public consultation on its proposals for Duke’s Park in Woodbridge, which comprise a mixture of market value and affordable housing, a small convenience store and a children’s play area. The developer claims the site offers the “logical extension” of the town to the south, while helping to satisfy the “increasing need” for housing in the district.

Woodbridge mayor and district councillor Geoff Holdcroft, however, has condemned the proposals, which he says offer “absolutely no merit whatsoever”.

In an open letter to the company, Mr Holdcroft labelled the proposals “unwelcome and undeliverable”.

Although he accepts the proposals for new homes and affordable housing would be “most welcome” in other locations, he said the countryside setting proposed for this development contravened local policy.

Mr Holdcroft, who is responsible for planning at Suffolk Coastal District Council, stressed he was commenting in his capacity as the ward’s local member.

The 13-hectare site lies to the south of Woodbridge, near Martlesham Creek, and the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mr Holdcroft said such a location was unsuitable as it fell outside the physical limits, contrary to planning policy, and also posed environmental concerns.

“Given all these matters, I think that the proposal has absolutely no merit whatsoever and I will be opposing it personally and also on behalf of the many residents of my ward that have already contacted me,” he said.

In a separate letter, Mr Holdcroft highlighted further issues with developing on a site which falls on the chosen cable route for the East Anglia One Offshore Windfarm, which, he says, prevents the construction of any buildings.

While acknowledging the cable route, Gladman Developments said it been taken into consideration when drawing up the proposal.

An application for the proposal is expected to be submitted this summer.

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David Vincent

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EADT writer David Vincent has more than 40 years experience in Suffolk. He has explored the highways and byeways of East Anglia, meeting homeowners, developers and estate agents from Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh and Colchester to Diss.

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