Suffolk County Council complete sale of Chilton Woods land to Taylor Wimpey for future development of a new local community

Published

The £35m sale of a significant part of the development site at Chilton Woods is now complete.

Situated within the parishes of Chilton, Acton, Sudbury and Long Melford, the Chilton Woods site had been allocated for development in Babergh District Council’s Core Strategy and was granted outline planning permission by Babergh District Council in 2018.

Taylor Wimpey has purchased a portion of the site and will deliver 1,150 new homes, a quarter of which will be affordable for rent or shared ownership.

The housebuilder will also provide a village centre with shops, a pub and a community hall, large areas of new community woodland, land for a new primary school and pre-school, sports pitches, allotments and play areas for young people.

The outline planning permission also includes an employment development, county wildlife site, hotel and household waste recycling centre which Taylor Wimpey will not be delivering. Other land owners have the opportunity to bring forward developments which would be considered by Babergh District in the context of the outline planning permission.

There has been a long-term ambition shared by both the County Council and Babergh District Council to develop this site. The sale completion comes as the result of a great deal of diligent and detailed work led by the County Council and carried out by a number of technical experts and teams, despite the clear and present challenges of working throughout the pandemic over the last 12 months and the national lockdown periods.

The completion of the project demonstrates the County Council’s ability to act commercially to help deliver Babergh District Council’s objectives and much needed local houses.

The site is some 210 acres, consisting mostly of agricultural land, including part of a former local airfield. Acton Lane runs through the centre of the site, connecting Sudbury to Newman’s Green and Acton to the north.

Download Chilton Woods image (JPG, 397KB).

Councillor Nick Gowrley, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Housing, Economic Development and Enterprise said:

"Completing the sale of this part of the Chilton Woods site for this price represents a fantastic financial return for the taxpayers of Suffolk. It has been a challenging period of time working around the Covid-19 restrictions and I want to thank all parties involved in getting this sale over the line, especially our advisors from Deloitte Touche, Wood PLC, Birketts Solicitors and Concertus.

“Taylor Wimpey will now take ownership of a significant portion of the site and I look forward to seeing plans and work progress. Development of this site strengthens our ambition to support the need for increased housing and employment in Suffolk, working with our partners to utilise council owned land where there is local need.”

David Pelle, Land and Planning Director for Taylor Wimpey London, said:

“We are excited to have completed the purchase of such a significant site for the area and I am grateful to all parties for their cooperation and hard work during challenging times.

“Our vision for Chilton Woods, as outlined in our draft Design Code for the development, is to create a healthy environment to live and work in, set within an extensive network of community woodland and green spaces.

“We are undertaking a wide programme of community engagement and consultation, and the feedback provided by local residents is helping to shape our plans as they develop. We look forward to submitting our reserved matters planning application for the first phase of new homes in the coming months.”

Babergh District Council leader Councillor John Ward said:

“Chilton Woods is a hugely significant development, bringing much-needed housing as well as future employment opportunities, facilities and infrastructure for Sudbury. We now look forward to seeing the final application from Taylor Wimpey so we can ensure the creation of this new community delivers the promised benefits to the local area.”