Work has started to clear the brownfield site of the former HMS Ganges in readiness to build 285 houses, from two-bed to five bedroom homes, a 60 room nursing home, a hostel and a mix of retail units.
There will be open spaces, cycle routes and the former Nelson Hall has been earmarked for community use, along with the old swimming pool.
As part of the agreement developers must begin with clearing the area of the fort at the bottom end of the site and look to bring it back to use if possible.
Legal agreement has been reached for the development of the former HMS Ganges site, meaning full planning permission has been granted.
Babergh District Council planning committee granted permission, for a second time, for the development, back in March 2015 but extensive legal work had to be carried out with all relevant parties to get final agreement.
Derek Davis, District Councillor for Berners Ward, which covers much of the Shotley peninsula, is a former Ganges Boy and chairman of the HMS Ganges Museum.
“This is a really positive development for both Shotley and the wider region,” said Cllr Davis. “It is heart-wrenching to see Ganges, and in particular the world famous mast, fall into such disrepair so seeing work start on what is now a brownfield site, will be a very encouraging step.
“There is no doubt we need the housing, not just in Shotley and the peninsula in general but Babergh as a whole, and it will have wider implications.
“The new development will bring many benefits in terms of housing, facilities and of course the money being paid by the developers towards community schemes, including an improved bus service.
“However, we do need to be aware that there will be disruption during the construction process and we will be working towards minimising that as much as possible.
“Traffic considerations are also an issue but, just as in the past with new developments in Shotley, Chelmondiston and Woolverstone, these will be assimilated over time.”
Shotley was named both the Babergh and Suffolk Village of the Year in September 2015 and the whole peninsula, which is largely AONB land, is being promoted as a tourist destination.
Cllr Davis can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org