HMS Ganges: Housing plan approved for former Suffolk naval base

HMS Ganges, Shotley Gate, Suffolk Image copyright Mike Page Aerial Photography
Image caption The mast stands on the parade ground on the 60 acre (24 hectare) site on the tip of the Shotley peninsula

Plans for a 285 home development have been approved for a derelict former naval base in Suffolk.

HMS Ganges at Shotley Gate was last used as a police training base until 2001.

Galliard Homes has been granted planning permission to develop the site by Babergh District Council.

The plans also include a hotel, a 60 bed nursing home, retail and commercial units and a commitment to restore the listed ceremonial mast.

The site had been the subject of 16 planning applications since 2001, including many smaller ones which were approved but not implemented.

An application for 325 homes was turned down by the government in 2006.

'Homes and jobs'

Several parish councils raised objections that the latest plan would create too much extra traffic on the B1456 to Ipswich.

Image caption The site has been derelict since it was last used as a police training base

Councillor Peter Beer, chairman of Babergh's development committee, said he was "confident the impact on the environment, heritage and ecology could be minimised, whilst creating new homes and jobs".

"We took the concerns about traffic to heart and the county's highways department decided the development was acceptable.

"The application retains many of the existing buildings and the mast, which is a real landmark and nearly beyond repair, will get re-instated which is great news."

Galliard Homes will provide investment in community facilities, including £437,000 for local education and £83,980 for health services, as part of the development.

The council said the approval also committed Galliard to provide funding to look at improving the foot ferry service to Harwich and Felixstowe and local cycle routes and restoring the base's indoor swimming pool.

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