Proposed development of Chilton Woods FAQs

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

For more information read:

Outline planning permission was granted by Babergh District Council on 29 March 2018.

The permission can be found on Babergh District Council's website.

The county council is now intending to identify developers to deliver the scheme.

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 will deliver up to 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 outline planning permission is 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 are fixed as part of the outline planning permission.

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

All future applications to develop the site need to accord with these approved 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
  • 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 development will fund the provision of these facilities as required in the signed Section 106 Agreement agreed between the county council and Babergh District Council.

The county council’s roles are separate and distinct.

As Highways Authority, the county council undertook 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.

Planning conditions 23-27 and Schedule 4 of the Section 106 Agreement provide detail of the road improvements to be delivered alongside the Chilton Woods scheme.

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

The outline planning permission secures approval for both a roundabout access plus first 200 metres of road necessary to open up this employment area, providing certainty to potential 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.

Schedule 6 of the Section 106 Agreement secures funding towards public services, with Babergh District Council requiring funding toward both the police and NHS in particular.

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.

In addition, Schedule 4 of the Section 106 Agreement secures £850,000 towards public transport in Sudbury plus £580,000 towards pedestrian and cycle routes.

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 were resisted as part of the application and are therefore not proposed as part of the approved permission.

With respect to Valley Road, the developer is required to improve the junction with the A134 Sudbury Road under planning condition 23.

The permission requires two new junctions on Springlands Way (roundabout for the western access and a signal-controlled junction 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 walkable neighbourhood and support the viability of the village centre.

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

The outline planning permission does not require the closure of Acton Lane traffic nor 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.

This investment and related improvements are secured as part of the outline planning permission.

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 was 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.

We are looking to secure a development partner so initial 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, secured as part of the conditions and Section 106 Agreement as part of the permission, address the scheme’s impacts.

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.