Chilton Woods set for £1.6m windfall

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Plans to build more than 1,000 homes on the outskirts of Sudbury have been given fresh hope after Suffolk County Council pledged £1.6million to the scheme.

Members of the authority’s cabinet agreed to put the funding towards the Chilton Woods development in order to progress the scheme to outline planning permission on Tuesday.

Colin Spence, county councillor for Sudbury and Waldingfield, said the agreement was a step in the right direction for the scheme, which has been on the drawing board for 14 years.

“I am very encouraged by the council’s move and there were lots of positives from the meeting,” he said.

“There have been major public consultations into the plans and there is a considerable amount of public support for it.”

Proposals for the 270-acre site were thrown into doubt earlier this year when developer Redrow Homes pulled out.

Previous developer Ashwell Property Group withdrew from the scheme in 2009 after going into administration.

Jenny Antill, district councillor for Waldingfield, said she hoped the council’s backing would help the plans finally become a reality, along with news that building a new electricity substation, cabling and burying existing cables would cost around £5million, rather than £13million.

“This will get it past the hurdles needed for outline permission and then let developers come in and do what they do best,” she said.

“It has got more of a chance, but there is always the issue of demand and the development may have to be done in phases.”

As well as the creation of 1,050 homes on the site, a proportion of which would be affordable, proposals also include a community centre, new primary school, shops, allotments and green space.

Peter Clifford, chairman of Chilton Parish Council, said it was important that these community assets were not forgotten.

“It is a concern that there is no developer currently involved in the scheme, but it is good the county council is committing itself to Chilton,” he said.

Colin Noble, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for finance and property, said Chilton Woods was a key development.

“This investment reflects our commitment to making it happen,” he said