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The planning application for Whisstocks was submitted to the Suffolk Coastal District Council on 19 April. The closing date for consultation responses on the plans was 31 May 2013.
We, the Woodbridge Riverside Trust and Whisstocks Project, were trying to gain a vibrant community space that would regenerate the riverside creating a special place for Woodbridge and providing new links between the Town Museum, the Tide Mill, the river and Sutton Hoo.
The current plans, underpinned by legal commitments from the developer, will enable us to use the public space and riverfront for the community.
The boatshed, with its mezzanine gives us a unique opportunity to build a full-size replica of the Sutton Hoo Ship.
The Whisstocks Project, set up by the Woodbridge Riverside Trust, has campaigned for over 5 years to gain maximum public benefit and community use on the Whisstocks site.
The scheme now presented is funded by commercial profits gained from planning easement on the Nunn’s Mill site and the sale of holiday homes and commercial opportunities on Whisstocks.
The community benefit is the gift to the town of a purpose built boat shed of 5500 sq ft incorporating a 2000sq ft mezzanine floor, and a 3500 sq ft two storey building to house the town museum. In addition, Woodbridge Town Council will have a forty per cent ownership stake in the Site Management Company which will operate the public space and (almost certainly) the Whisstocks slip and waterfront.
Terrific news and many congratulations on getting this far. If it happens it will be the best idea yet…………..
Martin Carver, Professor emeritus, University of York; Director, Sutton Hoo Research Project
The public space area in the new development remains much the same as the open area that has in the past been made available to Maritime Woodbridge and similar events. The community use of this space is to be protected in perpetuity by planning and leaseholder covenants that will both define how the space may be used and prevent interference in the future.
The latest changes to the scheme include a dedicated waterfront restaurant and bar on the site of the old chandlery building. We hope that the ground floor commercial buildings will reflect maritime interests, or be used for activities of public interest, enhancing the overall community benefit of the open public area.
The Whisstocks Project will be the leaseholder for the Boatshed, and will play a proactive role in the Site Management Company in organising community events and waterfront activities. The details of these arrangements are the subject of current negotiations between all parties. We will post more information on this in our next newsletter.
So, have we achieved enough to justify acceptance of this application by the SCDC? What is your view? For years we tried to purchase the Whisstocks site for dedicated community use. We came close, but the economic downturn worked against us. In truth, much of what we wanted to achieve is covered in this application, gained from step-by-step negotiations with a developer who has consistently chosen to listen to public concerns. The community “cost” is the acceptance of holiday homes, and some commercial spaces.
Over the past few months as comments to this website have demonstrated, by far the majority of you welcome these developments. If the application goes through we look forward to the next stages: campaigning for funds to build the Anglo Saxon Ship in the Community Boatshed, watching the museum take shape, and beginning to develop the many community activities for education and entertainment that are planned for the new Whisstocks.
We would like to thank all our supporters and our constructive critics alike for input throughout these negotiations. We would not have got this far without your interest and engagement.
You can view all aspects of design in the Design and access statement. Comments made through the public consultation survey, and to this web site are included in the Statement of Community Involvement pp 57 onwards (you will need to press the “+” sign at the bottom of the page on your screen to increase the size of the font so that you can read the detail of what people said). Comments on how the proposed development fits with local planning policy are in the Planning Statement .
You can find a full list of the 29 supporting documents submitted with the planning application on the SCDC website – click the link Redevelopment of Whisstocks.
The closing date for consultation responses on the plans was 31 May 2013. All comments will be reported to the relevant committee and taken into account fully, provided that they are received in good time for the committee meeting.