HMS Ganges: Housing plan approved for former Suffolk naval base

HMS Ganges, Shotley Gate, Suffolk Image copyright Mike Page Aerial Photography
Image caption The Royal Navy left the HMS Ganges site in 1976 and many buildings had become derelict

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

HMS Ganges at Shotley Gate was last occupied in 2001.

The developers were granted approval in 2013, but planning objections were raised by neighbouring villages.

Babergh District Council has confirmed approval and said it was finalising legal agreements about what the developer would spend on community facilities.

Image copyright Mike Page aerial photogrpahy
Image caption Shotley Gate (top centre) lies between Harwich (left) and Felixstowe (right)

The Royal Navy left the site in 1976 and it was last used as a police training base.

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

Babergh's planning officers said they had secured a commitment from the developer to spend £1m on education and healthcare facilities and a local cycle path.

However, spending of £6m on affordable homes, a cycle path to Chelmondiston, bus services and other facilities have been deferred because the developer deemed economic conditions made them unviable.

Image caption The ceremonial mast on the parade ground was in a state of disrepair

Rex Thake, vice chairman of the council's development committee, said: "I am confident the developer will be required to spend this money and our officers will be able to rule, at regular intervals, on whether it is viable.

"I've been visiting this brownfield site for over 20 years and it's good news that development can get under way finally."

Freston, Woolverstone and Chelmondiston parish councils still had concerns about increased traffic on the B1456 road from Ipswich, but Shotley Parish Council supported the plans.

The developers were not available for comment.

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