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Mini-masterplan for town research park

Monday, 7th June 2010.

A mini-masterplan for how to develop the most prominent site in Haverhill on the approach from the west is to be discussed this week.

The Hanchet End strategic employment site lies in the fork at the Gateway roundabout between the road into town and the bypass.

Recently, developers Carisbrooke revealed they were in the process of becoming the sole owners of the 30-acre site, and had renamed it Haverhill Research Park.

Carisbrooke director Nic Rumsey told a gathering of Haverhill business people of their plans for the site - mixed use, to include some high-value uses such as shops or a hotel.

The site is currently earmarked only for light industrial, research and development, warehousing or distribution centres.

Mr Rumsey urged St Edmundsbury Council planners to come forward with a concept statement for the site and now they have done exactly that.

Their draft concept statement will be discussed by the council's Haverhill Area Working Party at its meeting on Thursday.

It requires to cul-de-sac access roads off the A1307 into Haverhill, and stipulates that the design of all tyhe buildings must be to the highest possible standard.

The site has long been recognised has having potential to become a special gateway site to the town, the statement says.

It goes on: "The elevation of the site makes it particularly prominent when approached from the north west and visible to long distance views from the rural area to the north and west.

"A high standard of design will be required throughout the site, with development on the highest ground restricted in height.

"Areas with frontage to the A1307 will be required to achieve high standards of architecture within a landscaped setting.

"That part of the site fronting the A1307 at its junction with the A1017 is of particular importance at the entrance of the town and will require a landmark building or buildings. A similar approach should be taken at the north-east entrance to the site."

But the statement does not rule out the inclusion of high-value uses completely.

In its final paragraph it says the council recognises there will be a considerable cost in preparing the site because it slopes significantly.

Mr Rumsey told the business people he estimated developing the site would cost more than 4million.

The concept statement says: "If, having regard to prevailing market conditions, it can be demonstrated that such costs will seriously jeopardise the delivery of the site, the Local planning authority will give consideration to the inclusion of an appropriate provision of higher value uses.

"The amount, location and nature of such uses shall be identified in the masterplan, be appropriate to their location and shall be subject to regular review, having regard to market conditions and development viability."

The landowners are also being consulted on the draft concept statement and members of the working party are recommended, if there are no over-riding objections from them, to approve it for public consultation.

Haverhill Online News

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