Active Urban has submitted a detailed planning application for the redevelopment of the former Suffolk Coastal District Council offices at Melton Hill, Woodbridge.
Melton Hill, Woodbridge Planning Application Submitted
The scheme, designed by Hoopers Architects from Ipswich, comprises of 100 homes, including one third affordable, set in high quality landscape, together with 480 sqm of space in the blocks fronting Melton Hill for community and commercial uses and a Porter’s Lodge.
The concept for this unique site is for strikingly designed ‘villas in a park’ overlooking Sutton Hoo. The buildings are designed in a contemporary style using a robust, local palette of materials including brick and timber. Most of the car parking is provided underground which allows for attractive and safe pedestrian and cycling routes through the development to a new “meadow” connecting to Deben Road.
The new homes provided will comprise a mixture of 1 bed, 2 bed, 3 bed and Penthouse apartments and 2 and 3 bed townhouses. Various small businesses, including a local artisan coffee house, have expressed an interest in the commercial space.
Changes to the proposals
Approximately 300 people attended the Melton Hill pre-planning application exhibition in April 2017. Many people were very positive about the proposals, including the design and layout of the buildings in a largely car free, landscaped setting (enabled by the on-site underground parking) and they also expressed their support for the openness of the participatory planning process, which began with the Community Planning Weekend held in April 2016.
The pre-planning application exhibition did however elicit various comments, including in relation to parking, the height of some of the buildings and the number of homes on the site. Following comments received, changes were made to the proposals including reducing the height of some blocks by a whole storey. This had the effect of reducing both the number of homes, including the affordable requirement, whilst keeping the same number of car parking spaces, thereby going some way to addressing the car parking concerns.
The planning application is now open to public consultation for 21 days and is live on the planning portal on the Council’s website here.
The application reference number is: DC/17/2840/FUL
Suffolk Coastal District Council is moving to new premises in Melton to reduce running costs. Active Urban Property Group has been selected as preferred developer, with their architects Hoopers, for the 3.23 acre Melton Hill site close to Woodbridge town centre.
Active Urban is committed to working closely with the local community and appointed collaborative planning specialists JTP to work with Hoopers and to facilitate the Community Planning Weekend.
The Weekend was an opportunity for the community to share local knowledge and participate in walkabouts, workshops and hands-on planning groups. There was also an exhibition explaining the background of the site.
Community Planning Weekend
Around 150 members of the Woodbridge and Melton community participated at the Melton Hill, Woodbridge Community Planning Weekend on 15 & 16 April 2016 to help create a Vision for a high quality residential development on land at Melton Hill, currently owned by Suffolk Coastal District Council.
Key ideas to emerge included:
- Creating an attractive new residential quarter for 21st century Woodbridge, not just another housing estate;
- Introducing community and commercial uses to provide vitality and interest;
- Providing a mix of housing to serve the needs of the Woodbridge and Melton and create a balanced community;
- Investigating the possibility of allowing the Drummer Boys statue to stay in its current location and opening up views to Sutton Hoo;
- Designing high quality landscape and pedestrian routes through the development; and
- Creating a new water meadow in the flood zone with ‘boardwalks’ connecting through to the neighbours at The Maltings and Deben Road.
Report Back Presentation
Following the community planning process, which began at the launch on 21 March and culminated in the two public workshop days, the JTP-led team analysed and summarised the outcomes and drew up a Vision for the site. Around 100 members of the local community attended the Report Back held on Tuesday evening, 19 April at Woodbridge Primary School.
Pre-planning Application Exhibition
The design team then moved forward to prepare a detailed planning application for the site, which was submitted in July 2017.
The local community was invited to the Melton Hill pre-planning application exhibition to view and comment on proposals for a high quality residential development at Woodbridge Primary School on Tuesday 18 April 2017 from 3.00pm to 8.00pm.