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Business groups back developers over research park

Wednesday, 28th July 2010.

Leading Haverhill business organisations have raised concerns over the council’s draft concept statement for land at Hanchet End Following an independent report into the viability of developing Haverhill Research Park.

The report, commissioned by Choose Suffolk, supports calls made by developers, Carisbrooke Investments, for the council’s planners to be more specific regarding the area to be designated for higher value uses to pump-prime the site.

With the draft concept statement now in the final week of consultation, representations have been lodged by a trio of local business groups – the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Haverhill Enterprise – raising doubts over the viability of bringing forward development on the site in the form set out by the council.

Nic Rumsey, Carisbrooke Investments’ director, who is leading the project on behalf of the landowner, said: “We are extremely pleased that the views that we have presented over the current draft concept statement have been recognised and supported by those from the local business community.

"We are also heartened by the support that has been received for our vision from those within the education sector.

"I am grateful to those who have taken the time to make their views known on this key site, which if moved forward appropriately could deliver enormous benefit to the town.”

In a letter sent to council officers, Haverhill Enterprise commented that:

“We therefore support the view that the concept statement should be changed to allow approximately one-third of the site to be developed for higher value non-research park uses, in order to make development of the whole site viable."

Aside from representatives of the business community, local education institutions also entered the debate over the future development of this strategically important site.

West Suffolk College (WSC) alongside the University Campus Suffolk has also outlined support for the vision of the site that is being promoted by Carisbrooke Investments.

WSC’s vice-principal, Martyn Wagner, said: “It will be very challenging to attract public sector finance in the current climate, so creative solutions will need to be found and possibly some flexibility exercised in order to realise this as part of the vision for Haverhill.”

The consultation over the draft concept statement for the Hanchet End site closes this Friday, July 30, and those still wishing to make comments can do so via the council’s website or by emailing LDF@stedsbc.gov.uk.

For those that wish to understand more about Carisbrooke Investments’ own plans for the site, view the latest PACEC report and the letters of support received, they are welcome to visit www.haverhillresearchpark.com

Alternatively, for those with questions, people can contact Carisbrooke Investments’ freephone information line – 0800 298 7040.

Haverhill Online News

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