Whisstocks developers bid to scale back restaurant for more housing in Woodbridge
From the East Anglian Daily Times, Jan 6th 2016.
By Tim Potter
Developers want to put an apartment on the first floor of the building previously approved entirely as a restaurant at the former Whisstocks boatyard site, in Woodbridge.
Co-director at FW Properties, Julian Wells said the proposal would help balance the extra cost of removing contaminants from the site and nearby Nunn’s Mill, which also got consent for housing in August 2103.
To offset the cost, developers had wanted to use the first floor of the two-storey Chandlery restaurant for two apartments.
But, following local objection to the entire first floor conversion, an amended application now includes just one apartment, overlooking Tide Mill Way and preserving the restaurant’s riverfront views. Meanwhile, two of the homes to be built at Nunn’s Mill will become duplex apartments.
Mr Wells said: “We have made good progress but there are lots of issues with both sites.
“Unfortunately, we found slightly more contamination than originally envisaged. As a result, we needed to create a little more value to offset the costs.
“Feedback from local people and planners suggested that removal of the first floor views across the river was not wanted, so we submitted some amendments – one being a change of use to part of the Chandlery building.”
Last summer, FW Properties successfully applied to sell 14 other properties at the site as permanent residences, rather than the holiday homes originally agreed to. At the time, they said costs had put pressure on the viability of the original proposal.
The Whisstocks project includes a new home for Woodbridge Museum, an outdoor space for community events, and a community boatshed that will be used to build a working replica of the Sutton Hoo ship.
Local heritage group, the Woodbridge Society objected to the entire first floor conversion, saying the two-storey restaurant was an “essential part of the vision for providing public access and community benefit”.
The River Deben Association also argued that an increase in residential accommodation contradicted local planning policy stating that: “The strategy is to consolidate a town that enjoys a vibrant riverside environment that incorporates a range of uses.”