Further progress can now be made towards granting of planning permission for a mixed-use development on the HMS Ganges site, in Shotley, after a Government 'stop' on the issue of any planning permission was lifted this week. 
Developer Haylink Ltd had its planning application approved by Babergh District Council's Planning Committee in November last year (subject to the completion of the legal agreement). The scheme seeks to regenerate the area by building 285 homes, a 60-bed nursing home and a hotel, as well as retail and commercial buildings.
But, in December last year, Babergh was advised by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that no planning permission could be issued until the Department had completed its consideration of the matter and issued its decision about whether to “call in” the application for determination by the Secretary of State.
However this week, Babergh was notified that there would be no “call in” and the Council would be able to proceed to determine this matter locally.
Dave Jones, Planning Casework Manager at the DCLG, said in a letter to the council: "The Secretary of State has carefully considered the impact of the proposal, and the key policy issues of promoting sustainable transport, delivering the wide choice of high quality homes, promoting healthy communities and conserving and enhancing both the natural and historic environment which this cases raises.
"In his opinion, the proposals do not: involve a conflict with national policies on important matters; have significant long term impact on economic growth and meeting housing needs across a wider area than a single local authority; have significant effects beyond their immediate locality; give rise to substantial cross boundary or national controversy; raise significant architectural and urban design issues; or involve the interests of national security or foreign governments”.
Cllr Simon Barrett, Babergh District Council's Lead Member for Economic Development, said: This news is welcomed.
"The former HMS Ganges site has been the subject of numerous planning applications over the years whilst the condition of buildings on the site have deteriorated. Now there is a real opportunity for a mixed-use development to take place on the site which could do much to improve the condition of the site and its buildings, while also helping to improve housing supply and the local economy." 



By Steven Leach on February 4th, 2014