WTC Planning Committee & the ‘Cheese Wedges’

Well attended (the Deben Room at East Suffolk House was full to capacity) session of the Woodbridge Town Council planning sub-committee last night, to discuss the proposed development of the old SCDC offices on Melton Hill, (aka ‘The Cheese Wedges’)

Cheese Wedges

In a break with tradition, the meeting was held in ‘two halves’ with the usual planning agenda being dealt with in the first part of the meeting, covered by ‘standing orders’, which were suspended at ‘half time’ to allow members of the public to speak freely and without time limitation about this development.

Not surprisingly, the meeting was ‘lively’ and the discussion was mostly constructive, but the majority of people there are struggling to support this development.

I have assured those present that I will undertake to speak as Ward Councillor for Woodbridge when this development is being heard at the ESC Planning Committee. The date for this is not confirmed, and I will share that when I have it…

Copied from the minutes (available on the Woodbridge Town Council website)

Thirteen members of the public spoke on behalf of all 72 present:
1. Member of the public felt that people had been deceived by the
developers as they had made statements and then changed them

2. Member of the public said that SCDC/ESC Planning Committee had
ignored 300 objections to the plan and he felt that they were determined
to ‘inflict a monstrous’ design on Woodbridge. He said that they would
be in breach of Historic England guidelines which could end in a Judicial
Review.

3. Member of the public said that the SCDC Guidance 2014 instructed
buyers to pay ‘due regard to adjacent site’ and ‘to utilise the buildings on
the frontage’. He said this had not happened.

4. Member of the public and near neighbour would look out onto a seven
storey building (two floors of parking, five of apartments). He said in the
new plan there were less affordable bedrooms and more other bedrooms
and there was an increase in the number of three and four bedroom
houses.

He went on to say that the developer had used the Air Quality
Survey dated July 2017 but undertaken in February 2017 that had
become obsolete in 2018.

5. Member of the public endorsed what others had said and added that it
appeared the ESC Planning Committee were pushing through the
application against the large number of objections received and what
Woodbridge Town Council and Melton Parish Council had said.

6. East Suffolk District Councillor for Melton said that buildings on the site
should be converted not pulled down and that trees should not be cut
down.

7. Member of the public referred to the development in Woodbridge that had
created a new library, school and housing on SCC land had handed over
the planning decision by SCC to the District Council; he asked if it was
possible with Melton Hill and ask another body to make the planning
decision.
8. Member of the public made a plea to save the trees on the site saying
that they were old, absorbed CO2 and particulates from cars. She said
that area had become a corridor for wildlife.

9. Member of the public asked new ESC councillors to make a difference. 
[Something that I am keen to do!]

10. The Chair of Melton Parish Council said that they supported Woodbridge
Town Council.

11. Member of the public echoed everything that had been said and wanted
to know how the development would be implemented. She called for
another Air Quality Survey and to make the development Carbon zero.

12. Member of the public urged everyone to continue to object, even if they
had previously put in an objection.

13. Chairman of the Melton Parish Council Planning and Transport
Committee said that Melton would be deliberating on the application the
following evening.

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