Long-awaited plans for the Chilton Woods development in Sudbury will at last be decided by Babergh District Council next week, after years in the pipeline.
The application by Suffolk County Council is seeking outline planning permission for up to 1,150 new homes, as well as a new village centre, including primary and pre-schools, a village hall, up to 1,000 square metres of retail space and a commercial area with a hotel and a recycling centre.
If permission is granted, it will open the door for developers to submit their own applications to build on the site, situated on land north of Woodhall Business Park.
The planning officer’s recommendation for the committee, ahead of the meeting on Wednesday, is to approve the application, provided agreements are reached to deliver 25 per cent of the homes as affordable housing, and secure financial obligations for major infrastructure.
In his report to the council, case officer Steven Shroud said: “The scheme would pose substantial economic and social benefits, through the significant delivery of housing and employment provision, green infrastructure and community provision, which would also pose wider public benefit as a whole.”
The recommendation added that the loss of farmland, harm to the landscape and noise disturbance were outweighed by the substantial benefits of the scheme.
The development proposal has, however, prompted wide-scale objections by parish councils in Acton, Long Melford, Chilton and Assington, while their counterparts in Lavenham, Great Cornard, Newton and Great Waldingfield have also expressed concerns.
Issues raised include potential over-development of the site, insufficient affordable housing and infrastructure provisions and worries about roads not being able to cope with the increased traffic that it will generate.