Gateway 14 potential revealed and a challenge accomplished
This provided time for a special presentation from Richard Turner, the developer behind proposals to develop around 200 acres of land adjoining the A14 and A1120, currently known as Gateway 14.
The land has already been allocated for employment by Mid Suffolk District Council.
Mr Turner said the development was needed because Stowmarket already had more new homes than had been expected and another 2000 are allocated in the local plan.
However, the existing businesses in the town cannot provide enough extra jobs, nor are there suitable buildings for those businesses to expand. Already, some 60%-plus of Stowmarket residents commute to work in either Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds, according to the 2011 Census.
Some local businesses have already shown an interest in moving to the site, if the planning application is granted, potentially accounting for up to 30 acres of the development.
Mr Turner explained that the vision was for a mixture of starter units, showrooms, small offices, a landmark office/HQ building and large warehousing to act as a first storage hub for imports via Felixstowe.
If it goes ahead the development could create as many as 3000 jobs at all skill levels, generating around £70 million in wages and salaries p.a.
Almost £1 million has already been spent on specialist reports to assess issues such as traffic and wildlife and to carry out an archaeological survey on the land, Mr Turner said. He confirmed that because of the slope of the land and its proximity to other existing buildings, it would be possible to position taller buildings at the lower end so they would not be visible to nearby residents. 40-50,000 trees would also be planted around the site.
A hybrid planning application has been submitted asking for full permission to allow for preparation work on the site to install the necessary roadway and infrastructure, including a lagoon to take care of drainage, and outline permission for buildings.
The application is expected to be considered in April and, if approved, work is likely to start on site preparation this autumn, putting in the road over the winter and with plots available for development in early 2016.
Any comments or suggestions for the future please contact the Chairman, Peter Down at: