Ganges Plan Passed

The application to regenerate the HMS Ganges site was today passed by Babergh District Council with an overwhelming majority.

After hearing and seeing a comprehensive report backing Haylink Ltd’s application by BDC Planning Officer Graham Chamberlain, then speakers for and against the development, members approved the plan by 12 to 1. 

Although Berners ward councilor John Deacon and Suffolk County Councillor David Woods (both Lib Dem) spoke against the application, the only voting dissenter was David Rose (Ind) who represents Holbrook.

The application had already been passed once by BDC but an objection to that decision by Woolverstone Parish Council on four grounds, forced the application to be re-examined, but the council officers once again recommended the plan go ahead, and members backed them. 

Unless Woolverstone Parish council, or anyone else, asks for a Judicial Review within a six week appeal period, and the S106 (the amount developers will pay in mitigation) is fully agreed, along with agreement with neighbouring Shotley marina for some part of the works, Haylink Ltd will start clearing the site in preparation for building work.

Galliard Homes can build 285 houses, including one, two and three bedroom homes, a 60-bedroom care home, a 60-room hostel/hotel in stages.

Woolverstone Parish Council asked for adjournment, but that was rejected.

Planning committee chairman Peter Beer allowed three speakers from the objectors, Messers Hweitt, Mayer and Crumpton (there would have been four but one left early) citing the traffic concerns along the B1456 and the size of the development, as key issues, although they agreed a development should take place.

Shotley Parish Council chairman Richard Wrinch, along with long-term residents councillor Norman Bugg and former postmaster Barrie Powell, and HMS Ganges Association Museum Trustee Derek Davis, spoke in favour of the application, in front of a packed public gallery.

BDC received 71 letters in support of the application while six people objected.

It was highlighted that all the people on the peninsula will have access to all of the facilities, including retail units, parks, play areas, a cycle path from Chelmondiston to Shotley and the possible reopening of a swimming pool.

Around £6m will be give to improve the bus services, cycle paths, the foot ferry and car share scheme, among other benefits.

Improvement to the road, including a safety audit ahead of a possible scheme at Freston crossroads, have been agreed.

The developers have also agreed to restore or renovate the Martello Tower, signal school, the ceremonial gates and, crucially the mast, although that will not be done until 113 houses have been built. 

By Derek Davis on March 25th, 2015