Businesses asked for views on plan

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Sudbury businesses are being questioned over plans for a residential and industrial development planned for the town.

The Chilton Woods development has been ongoing for several years, with major setbacks hampering progress, but now businesses have been consulted to ensure the development is appropriate to improve employment opportunities in the town.

Suffolk County Council has created the questionnaire and Simon Barrett, Babergh’s lead member for economic development, who has seen the survey, said it asked if there was a requirement for additional employment space in the area and questioned if companies would be interested in moving locations.

Mr Barrett said the questionnaire was “so the councils could get a feeling for the requirements of businesses in Sudbury and the surrounding area”.

He added that it was “not key” to the development, but could ensure the right level and type of land was set aside for industrial use.

The 270-acre scheme is one of the key sites in Suffolk for delivering both new housing and employment opportunities, and the major land owner – Suffolk County Council – has backed the scheme by investing £1.6million earlier in the year to get the scheme moving forwards after serious setbacks.

The scheme has twice seen development partners pull out, but the county council, alongside other stakeholders, including Babergh District Council, is hoping to get planning permission in place by the end of the year.

Mr Barrett said the scheme “was really important for Sudbury and wider the area”.

“The district council has got to achieve a lot of houses and growth and, at the moment it is key to the whole core strategy,” he said.

“Together, we have to get this through.”