Category Archives: East Suffolk Council

Melton Hill – the wedges strike back

New plans for the Melton Hill development have been submitted- and surprise, surprise, they are pretty much the same as before. If you want to write, do so by Thursday 25th  July (Link here – though you will be given a little latitude to get in submissions after this date. However officers will start examining the application week beginning 29th July ).                   

Here is my response

I am writing as County Councillor for Woodbridge to comment on new plans submitted for the  Melton Hill development of the former Suffolk Coastal District council offices.

These seem to be very similar to the original plans, which is disappointing.

Current national planning policy “seeks to significantly boost the supply of homes through a sufficient amount and variety of land that will come forward where it is needed, to meet the needs of groups with specific housing requirements”.

Accordingto the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan, the District Council “shares the government’s ambition and is seeking to deliver sustainable communities across the District.”

It seems strange therefore that the significant need that clearly exists in Woodbridge: indeed the overwhelming need for affordable housing for the town’s young families, home-leavers, down-sizers, people with disabilities, low-earners is not at the heart of this development.

It is also strange that in the very recent past the district council had proposed extending the conservation boundary for Woodbridge town to include such buildings as “Council Offices No 112 Thoroughfare – A substantial mid nineteenth century classical villa constructed of white brick with projecting eaves and a slate roof. Much of its original external joinery survives,“ and even mentioning favourably the mid C20 redbrick council offices next to it. The rationale was clear: “extending the conservation boundary would contribute significantly to safeguarding the setting of the GII listed Maltings cottage, Melton Hill, and no  42 Deben Road, … It would also afford protection to a number of presently unlisted structures that make a strong positive contribution to the character of this part of town.”

Surely the only reason this aspiration can have been omitted from the recent consultation on Woodbridge’s Conservation boundary is because elements within the District Council have predetermined that 112 Thoroughfare should be destroyed –  to facilitate development of a frontage containing the brick, aluminium and concrete ‘Block E”? This cannot be right. Continue reading Melton Hill – the wedges strike back

Woodbridge: What’s been happening – July

More roads, less buses, millions wasted on consultants and residents deprived of vital services  for want of a  hundred thousand or so – despite declaring a climate emergency, County’s strangely dual attitude to money and transport continues this month..

Suffolk County Council announces funding cuts to subsidised bus routes   Suffolk County Council has announced that 23 subsidised bus routes will no longer receive funding from the council, in a bid to save £340,000. This means that over a third of subsidised bus routes in the county will lose their funding. This will include the early morning 71 we can take from Woodbridge  to Ipswich to get us there in time for work/college.

The decision to cut £340,000 from the subsidised buses budget was made in February, when the Council agreed on the budget for the current financial year. I spoke against this cut at the time, as well as other cuts that will affect bus users such as the decision to no longer print bus timetables. It seems that  not everybody listened. Continue reading Woodbridge: What’s been happening – July