Proposed development of Chilton Woods: Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers about the proposed development of Chilton Woods, Sudbury.

These frequently asked questions are part of the proposed development of Chilton Woods.

In October 2017 Babergh District Council’s planning committee decided to grant outline permission for Chilton Woods, subject to completion of a Section 106 legal agreement and set of planning conditions.

The Section 106 agreement will require the residential developer to ensure the delivery of affordable housing, primary school land and management of the open spaces and community facilities within the site.

The planning conditions require further details (including the layout and appearance of buildings) to be submitted and agreed by Babergh District Council before any building work can commence. These planning conditions will also require key road junctions in the town to be improved as the development gets under way.

We are committed to delivering a scheme which:

  • supports economic growth
  • creates jobs
  • delivers new homes  
  • adds value to the area and is sustainable

The proposed scheme enables Chilton Woods to be delivered alongside early investment in highways improvements and community facilities.

The Chilton Woods scheme comprises 1,150 new homes (25% of which will be affordable), 1,900 new jobs, a new household waste recycling centre, funding for community facilities (primary school, open space and village centre) plus investment in public transport, walking and cycling and highway improvements to key junctions in the town.

Securing an outline planning permission will be a significant step in the delivery of Chilton Woods, providing the necessary certainty to attract prospective commercial and residential developers to invest in and progress the site. 

The illustrative masterplan is based on a number of parameters which would be fixed if planning permission is granted.

These parameters include the location of land uses for employment, houses, community facilities and open space, building heights and points of access.

All future applications to develop the site would need to be in line with these parameters.

We have allowed for a mix of different employment to come forward, including office space, industrial space, warehouses, managed work space, hotel, energy centre and a new household waste recycling centre.

The new homes are accompanied by funding for new community facilities including:

  • a new primary school, to be made available in Phase 1 (first 500 homes), with additional classrooms provided as the scheme is built out
  • a pre-school
  • a village hall (plus market square and village green)
  • community woodland
  • sports pitches, pavilion, changing rooms and car parking
  • children’s play areas

The delivery of new homes will fund all of these facilities, through a S106 agreement.

Section 106 Agreements for the Chilton Woods scheme will be agreed between Babergh District Council and the respective landowners.

Section 106 Agreements are a charge that sits with the land.

The county council’s roles are separate and distinct.

As Highways Authority, the county council has undertaken a thorough assessment of the submitted Transport Assessment, supported by their own highways consultants (AECOM), expressing their impartial views to the district council as local planning authority responsible for determining the planning application.

Road improvements are a priority with the following junctions to be improved alongside the first 500 homes.

This reflects feedback from extensive community consultation, which highlighted highway impacts as one of the most important local issues.  

  • Acton Lane / A134 Springlands Way
  • Valley Road / A134
  • B1115 Waldingfield Road / Aubrey Drive / Church Field Road (Homebase roundabout)
  • A134 Springlands Way / B1115 Waldingfield Road (McDonalds roundabout)
  • Newton Road / Northern Road / Shawlands Road (Esso / Carpetright / Halfords roundabout)
  • A131 Melford Road / York Road / Girling Street
  • A131 Gregory Street / Gainsborough Street / School Street
  • East Street (east and west) and A131 Girling Street 

25% of Chilton Woods, 1,150 homes will be affordable, equivalent to 287 homes.

As part of the planning application, we are seeking detailed approval for a new roundabout access plus the first 200 metres of highway necessary to open up this employment area to occupiers and investors.    

As a result of pre-application consultation with the local community, a number of changes were made to the scheme:

  • Moving the village centre to be located fully within Chilton Parish
  • Providing further detail on the uses to be included in the village centre (market square, village green, village hall, shops and work space)
  • Setting out a strategy to reduce northbound traffic on Acton Lane
  • Testing the impact and designing a scheme for the Valley Road / A134 junction

Following submission of the application further changes were made to the scheme as a result of comments made by Historic England, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Babergh District Council’s ecology advisor.

Principally, this involved the reallocation of 1.4 hectares of land from employment to housing, to provide a more attractive setting for the monument and reinforcement of hedgerow connections within the site.  

The infrastructure for the development (including libraries, emergency services and health services) has been assessed and is kept under review.

For example, the impact on the need for schools has been incorporated into the masterplan.

New homes are to be within 400 metres of local facilities (including shops and a primary school) and bus routes as far as possible to maximise opportunities for walking, cycling and use of public transport.

£600,000 is also to be invested in public transport alongside investment in pedestrian and cycle connections to the town centre.  

There is a secondary point of access via Acton Lane which will help to ensure additional residential traffic is not just using Reynolds Way and Aubrey Drive.

New accesses on to Waldingfield Road have been resisted and are not proposed as part of the scheme.

An assessment has been undertaken of Valley Road, showing the need for capacity improvements at the Valley Road junction with the A134.

These improvements form part of the package of off-site highway works central to delivery of the scheme.  

We are proposing two new junctions on Springlands Way (roundabout for the western access and signal controlled junction/roundabout at the junction with Acton Lane).

This will help to create natural breaks in traffic and allow for people to make right turns out of adjacent streets (e.g. First and Second Avenue).

The intention is to maximise the number of homes around the village centre to create a walk-able neighbourhood and support the viability of the village centre.    

We know that the use of Acton Lane north is an issue for residents of both Acton and Newman’s Green.

At this stage, we are not seeking to close Acton Lane to traffic or prevent its use outright because we know from pre-application consultation events that existing residents (e.g. those to the north of Sudbury) use this route to visit Acton and Newman’s Green. 

Therefore, what we have sought to do is discourage northbound traffic as far as possible through a combination of measures:

  • Providing a new signal controlled junction at Acton Lane/Springlands Way to make it more attractive for northbound traffic to use this route (an easier right turn from Acton Lane on to Springlands Way to then head north via the A134). 
  • Prioritising east-west traffic flows across Acton Lane requiring northbound traffic to give way.
  • Proposing traffic calming measures on Acton Lane, which will also support walking and cycling.
  • Allowing for the central section of Acton lane to be closed in the future if required (subject to a separate approval process).

We know that the suitability of routes north of Acton Lane (e.g. Mills Lane) is a concern, however we are not seeking to improve these routes because we do not want to encourage their use.

Our focus is to direct traffic on to the A134 Springlands Way alongside investment and improvements to this route.  

The county council had an overall budget of £1.6 million to progress the outline planning application.

No, we own a significant proportion of the Chilton Woods site, and have an agreement in place with adjoining landowners to progress development on the site.

The decision will be made by Babergh District Council as local planning authority.

We will seek to appoint developers to deliver the site, who will need to submit further details for approval by Babergh District Council.

These further details, known as reserved matters applications, include detailed layout, scale, appearance and landscaping.

Assuming the Section 106 agreement is agreed in 2018, we would look to secure a development partner soon after, so construction can commence in 2019/2020.

The western bypass is not part of the Chilton Woods Strategic Land Allocation in the adopted Local Plan (2011-2031) and is not necessary to accommodate the proposed development. 

The Western Bypass is, however, a long-term ambition of Babergh District Council and Suffolk County Council and it remains as such in the Local Transport Plan.

The highway authority and their consultants, AECOM, have scrutinised the Transport Assessment supporting the planning application and are satisfied that the proposed highway works address the impacts of the scheme.

This is a separate planning application by another landowner which will need to be considered and determined by Babergh District Council. It does not form part of the county council’s proposals for Chilton Woods.