Prolog plans set for approval

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PLANS for a controversial £50million development in Sudbury are set to be decided tomorrow, writes Neil Bracegirdle.

Proposals for the construction of two office and industrial buildings in Church Field Road – opposite the area’s industrial estate – have been put forward by distribution and packaging firm Prolog.

If approved by Babergh District Council’s development committee, the site will be used as the company’s headquarters and is expected to create up to 500 jobs.

However, the application, which was due to be heard last summer and has been repeatedly delayed, has drawn objections from a host of organisations, including English Heritage, the Suffolk Preservation Society and the Sudbury Society.

These groups have expressed concerns about the scale of the development, its proximity to the Grade I listed St Mary’s Church, the Grade II listed Chilton Hall and the impact of regular lorry movements on nearby residents.

Lord Hart of Chilton, who lives at Chilton Hall, has also called for the development to be more “sympathetically” designed.

Robert Audley, chief executive of Prolog, said the firm, which was formed in 1980 and employs around 400 people at its existing offices on the Chilton Industrial Estate, had taken into account these worries.

“We are delighted that councillors will now be able to make a decision on our planned investment in Sudbury,” he said.

“We have provided the council with more detail on the scheme over the last few months and have addressed all the issues raised.

“We are keen to now proceed with the development and believe that, if approved, the scheme will have a significant positive effect on the local economy and show that Sudbury is open for business.”

The proposals have been recommended for approval by planning officers, subject to a section 106 agreement – money paid to offset the impact of large developments – being agreed.

The plans will be heard at a meeting on Wednesday.