HMS Ganges - Shotley, Chelmondiston and
Woolverstone responses to latest planning application
‘Former H M S Ganges Site - B/12/00500 - The full and partial demolition of buildings associated with the redevelopment of the site to provide: 285 dwellings; a 60 bed nursing home; 400 sq. convenience retail; a building containing 400 sq. flexible dentist/doctor's surgery/veterinary surgery/retail offices (B1/A2 or D 1 uses); and 600 sq.m of offices (B1 use); the use of Nelson Hall for estate offices, changing rooms, dry sports, workshops (use class B1B/C), community use & café; the use of Vincent House as a hotel (C2 use) together with parking and landscaping to form a linear park and landscaped gardens together with associated further landscaping and lighting as amended by applicant's letter dated 23 May 2013 and by Environmental Statement, Design and Access Statement Addendum,
Landscape Strategy, Stage 2 Road Safety Audit dated March 2013 and associated drawings'
Shotley Parish Council response;
Shotley Parish Council (the Council) thanks the District Council for consulting it on the above application and appreciates the opportunity to comment. The Council broadly supports the current mixed use plan and is pleased to see that many of the buildings of historic value have been retained.
As the incumbent Parish Council most impacted by this proposed development we trust that our views and comments will be significant in assisting the District Council's determination of this planning application. The village has long suffered the deterioration and overall dereliction of a once important thriving piece of National Heritage. It will be good to see this brownfield site brought back into productive use.
Set out below are the responses of the Council. The Council would ask that the contents of this letter are conveyed, in their entirety, to the Development Committee Members, before the application is determined.
Residential Travel Plan - The Buzabout service is still being referred to in the revised ES - this has been replaced by“Suffolk Links” for some time now. Bus and train timetables should link up effectively and the foot ferry should be extended to run all year round using a larger vessel which would make it a more attractive option for commuters travelling to Harwich and Felixstowe, therefore cutting out many car journeys.
People are not using public transport at present because of the inadequate service provided. Extra buses are needed at peak travel times, late evening and weekends in order to encourage greater use and these should be interconnected with train services.
Shotley Peninsula Cycle Campaign - we agree wholeheartedly with the aims of the SPCC and are pleased to note the proposed extra cycle parks within the revised ES. .Renewable Technologies - We note that air source heat pumps will be implemented and will provide 10% of renewable energy but are disappointed that the opportunity is not being taken to use the whole site as a showcase for Rts.
Demolition, Construction, Phasing, Noise and Vibration - We are pleased to note that the main contractor will join up to the Considerate Contractor Scheme.
Mast - We are pleased to note that the mast remains central to the development and that Haylink have restated their commitment to renew and re-instate the mast as soon as practicable.
Heritage - Changes to the parade ground layout. We understand the reasons for the less formal layout of the parade ground but are disappointed at the reduced size of the hard standing area close to the Mast and would prefer to see this re-instated to at least the same dimensions as the original plan. We believe this will prove to be an invaluable multi-purpose open space for community use e.g. markets, mobile skate parks, sports activity days for youngsters, open air concerts etc.
Swimming Pool - We are pleased the developer is retaining and refurbishing this valuable community asset but would suggest that consideration be given to using solar tiles for the roofing material in order to reduce running costs.
S106 Provision - The Council believes it is imperative that Babergh commissions an independent assessment of the S106 provision needed in relation to this development. We have reviewed the potential areas for s106 provision, in order of priority:
We would ask that we are consulted on the Heads of Terms of an agreement and any subsequent revisions before the s106 agreement is “engrossed”.
Chelmondiston Parish Council response;
Our main concern with these amendments is changes to the Affordable Housing provision...
The applicant is now proposing, we understand under the advice of Babergh, to reduce the number of affordable homes from 57 to 43 in order to assist with the uptake of housing by other local and to make the project more viable. According to Babergh's Local Plan, 35% of the total number of houses of a development should be set aside for affordable homes. 43 homes will amount to approximately only 15% of the 285 dwellings.
This Council appreciates that these policies are not 'set in stone' and that Babergh will endeavour to accommodate all parties in an effort to finalise an agreement on planning matters.
However, we strongly feel that this percentage should be higher. The younger people today who want to remain within our communities are experiencing extreme difficulties in getting on the housing ladder and /or finding affordable rented accommodation, and all available help should be given to them to remain within the community, which in turn will help to make the communities more sustainable. The larger more expensive houses, which will be taking the place of the 14 that are lost with this reduction, will not necessarily make the community more sustainable; quite the opposite.
Chelmondiston PC also have concerns over increases in traffic and lack of traffic calming measures - full details can be obtained from Chelmondistion Parish clerk.
Mrs Frances Sewell - Telephone: 01473 780 138 e-mail:
Summary of Woolverstone Parish Council's (12 page) response …
On 9 July 2013, Woolverstone Parish Council wrote to Babergh District Council with their views on the latest planning application submitted by Haylink regarding the development of the former HMS Ganges site.
In their 12 page letter to Babergh Planning Department they strongly oppose the application.
In summary, they believe the submission: (words from their letter):
Within the body of the letter they comment on specific aspects of the proposal:
'the scale of development is too great and the impact too
substantial and significant to be granted planning permission'.
'Woolverstone is a designated Conservation Area, therefore there
is a statutory duty of care from Babergh District Council to
preserve and enhance its valued characteristics and its overall
environment and character'
'Shotley Gate is defined as a “non-sustainable” village in Babergh District Council's (BDC) Local Plan Alteration No. 2 (2006) which we believe currently prevails'.
'Due to the above, despite the presumption being in favour of “sustainable development”, this application should be refused as neither the location or the proposed development is sustainable'.
'Woolverstone village is a designated Conservation Area.
Woolverstone Parish Council is of the view that such a substantial and significant increase in traffic flows through the village would mean that the Local Authority had failed in its statutory duty to “preserve and enhance” a Conservation Areas under its care.
Indeed, this proposal would actively cause harm to Woolverstone village and residents. This application should be refused on these grounds'.
'the location itself does not encourage sustainable transport. Yet, all the assumptions of reductions in traffic, material considerations and so on are based around an unrealistic Travel Plan'.
'Considering that the construction traffic will be using the B1456 for a minimum of 6 years (2014 - 2020) this is of concern to Woolverstone Parish Council. Furthermore, this could be occurring simultaneously with the construction traffic for the Shotley Marina development'.
'The B1456 suffers from tidal flooding between 4 and 12 times a year. On these occasions the road is closed to traffic for a period of time'.
They finally summarise their objections as follows:
As a neighbouring Parish Council they (Woolverstone) do not appreciate any of the benefits that this development will bring to Shotley, and are deliberately berating our thriving village.
Their comments are focused on preserving the 'status quo' of Woolverstone at any price, to the detriment of Shotley. They refer to Shotley as a 'non-sustainable village'.
Shotley has a marvellous primary school, Kidzone, three pubs and restaurants, two shops and a Post Office, an Indian takeaway, a pizza parlour, a Doctors Surgery, thriving Marina, active Shotley Point Yacht Club, active Shotley Sailing Club, the internationally renowned HMS Ganges Museum, a population in excess of 2500, more than 1500 homes and the most number of locally run voluntary clubs and associations on the Peninsula.
So much for being classed as 'non-sustainable'….. What facilities are there in Woolverstone that make it sustainable? What if they had a huge derelict site in their back yard?
Needless to say their letter has prompted a number of responses to Babergh Planning that amongst other things helps to set the record straight with regard to value and viability of Shotley Village.
There is still time to e-mail or write to Babergh District Council with your comments, the sooner the better.
Please e-mail email@example.com and address your e-mail to:
Graham Chamberlain, Principal Planner.
or write to:
Graham Chamberlain, Principal Planner, Babergh District
Council, Corks Lane, Hadleigh, Ipswich.
You'll need to include your name and address in the e-mail and letter for them take formal account of your views. The e-mail or letter should also reference the planning application as:
FORMER H M S GANGES SITE - B/12/00500
Shotley Parish Council
Letter from Parishioner
Dear Mr Chamberlain,
As a resident of Shotley Gate I would like to express my support for the proposed development of the former HMS Ganges Site.
I have reviewed the planning documents, and consider the proposed development an excellent use of this existing derelict eyesore, and am particularly pleased to see the retention of many of the Heritage buildings and Architectural Features. These assets will be preserved and maintained for future generations.
The overall planning of the living space and surrounding green space blends well with the natural environment at Shotley Gate, particularly important as the development sits in an existing Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Effective use appears to be made of the views across the rivers Orwell and Stour, without being detrimental to the vista's of Shotley from Harwich and Felixstowe.
The assets planned for the benefit and use of the community, particularly the intention to bring back a swimming facility, can only help to improve the lifestyle of many residents of Shotley village, which is the largest (and thriving) sustainable community on the Shotley Peninsula.
With regard to the planned use of renewable energy technologies, and in particular the presence of electric vehicle charging points, I applaud the foresight of the developer. However, I would like to see an even greater use of solar photo voltaic panels being built into all of the proposed properties during construction if this is possible. Renewable Technology is now an accepted part of the energy mix and can be seen as an aid to marketing and selling properties.
In support of the Shotley Peninsula Cycle Route Campaign, it is good to see the development has a positive role to play in encouraging the use of cycles for health and recreation through the creation of designated cycle routes. I, like many other residents, look forward to being able to walk and cycle through pathways and around Heritage buildings (including the restored Ganges Mast) which we have been unable to do for many years.
I have seen some of the adverse and 'doomsday' predictions about the increase in traffic volume if this development goes ahead. I agree that there will undoubtedly be an increase. However, having lived in Shotley Gate for 12 years, and commuted into Ipswich daily during the morning and evening rush hours, I have found traffic volumes to be reasonable, driving conditions relaxed, and the B1456 (at least for the 12 years I have lived here) open to flowing traffic save for the occasional accident usually caused by the impatient drivers who prefer to ignore speed limits and weather conditions. With proposed traffic calming measures in the villages of Chelmondiston, improvements to the Freston / Holbrook junction on the B1456, and improvements to traffic management at the roundabout near to the 'Oyster Reach' at Wherstead Road I believe the volume of traffic will not be the issue being grossly over exaggerated by others.
As an observation, having seen the constant stream of cars moving in and out of Woolverstone School for Girls at peak times, morning and afternoon, perhaps there is something that they could do to cut down on the existing vehicle volumes - most vehicles appear to have only one or two occupants. This would be a sensible step, save energy and help the environment, whether or not the Ganges application is successful.
The proposed development is an opportunity for the reintroduction of a revised frequent bus timetable, with potential to look at other creative - though not new - ideas such as a water taxi service along the river Orwell up to Wherstead Road (Foxes Marina) and Ipswich waterfront, and an all year round ferry service to Harwich and Felixstowe linked to the train service into London via Manningtree. Babergh District Council and the developer could make this a showcase project to further enhance our existing sustainable village and community.
I trust you will take my views into account when making your decision on the planning application.
Gary Richens, Shotley Gate
Letter from Parishioner
Having read Woolverstone Parish Council's response to the above planning application, I felt obliged to respond to some of the points that they have raised. I have lived in Shotley for 76 years, 50 years at Shotley Gate, so I feel qualified to answer some of the matters they have raised.
First of all I dispute that Shotley is an Non-sustainable village. In fact it is a vibrant village with so many activities going on. (far more than Woolverstone). How many of their council, can remember prior to its closure in 1976 when the Ganges was at its prime? At its peak there were over 3000 personnel stationed here, with a large workforce on top, many of whom commuted from Ipswich. I can remember the traffic in those days also being very busy (the road was then an "A" Road.) Buses full of Naval Personnel were continually using the road, also fleets of coal lorries to re- stock the boilers. Using this road on a frequent basis, the biggest traffic problem now, is caused by Woolverstone itself, with the Ipswich High School traffic, an endless stream of coaches and 4x4's going in the opposite direction. Did their Parish Council complain then?
When the Ganges closed in 1976 it took the heart out of our village, both employment wise and also socially. We as a Parish have done our best to close this gap, and I think we have done a good job! However what is needed, are more chances of employment, we also lack community playing fields (the Ganges ones were the best around). In my youth I played most sports in the Establishment, including great use of the swimming pool, where I taught my two children to swim. In my opinion, it is important that this facility is re-opened.
With regard to the traffic problem, some of this could be solved, by operating an all year round ferry service, which could then also be used by commuters going to London. Also how about using the River Orwell as a transport link, we do not particularly want to go through Woolverstone, there is nothing to see apart from an Old People's Home!
As a Trustee of the Ganges Museum, I am continually being asked by Ganges Association members, both nationally and on a world-wide basis, when is the Ganges Site going to be developed? The question concerning the Mast, is foremost in their thoughts. This iconic landmark must be restored!
Finally, I would like to congratulate the developers to
listening to a lot of our demands, by retaining many of the Ganges Buildings, which I feel are important to retain the character of the site, not all their ideas are perfect, but this is the best application I have yet seen.
When making your planning decision, please do not be persuaded by the NIMBY's along the B1456.
We in Shotley also wish to make this a pleasant place to in which to live.
Sorry if I sound like a grumpy old man, but this subject is close to my heart, my father first joined H.M.S. Ganges in 1920.
Roger Cushing, Shotley Gate
Letter from Parishioner ;
Dear Mr Chamberlain,
I have only been a Shotley resident for a relatively short time. I moved here four years ago from the Croydon area, having lived and worked in South London for thirty nine years. I find Shotley and Shotley Gate to be a vibrant, friendly place with a good demographic of varied age, experience and outlook.
It is an increasing source of ire to me that sundry residents and pressure groups from the neck of the peninsula refer to this village as "unsustainable", just because it was referred to as such technically in a long outdated report does not make it so, except in the minds of those who live in the past.
We support three pubs, two post offices and a multitude of clubs, community groups and societies. We do not have enough local employment opportunities or public transport.
The most recent Ganges submission is an exercise in attempting to mitigate the countless objections that have been entered. As such it is not perfect but shows good will and common sense on the part of the developers.
The traffic calming measures, as stated, should mitigate most of the worries of our good neighbours in Chelmondiston. Nothing, it seems, will satisfy the complaints of the repetitive tirade I have seen from Woolverstone except a return to horse drawn carriages and bullock carts. These people indulge in hyperbole and constant repetition of a litany of self -serving half- truths. Why buy a house on a main road in a hamlet of about ten houses with no public buildings then complain that people have the temerity to actually drive past it? In truth, none of the residents in this area will ever really know what it is like to experience heavy traffic on a daily basis. Even during the construction phase of the new development. I fully support the most recent Ganges planning application. In the meantime Babergh should instigate plans to alleviate the public transport debacle that blights the peninsular at present. Dependable early, late and weekend buses and water taxis would cut single use car journeys at a stroke.
Geraint Pugh, Shotley Gate