At the last WAMRAG AGM the membership voted to stand WAMRAG down until such time as firm proposals for redevelopment of the Whisstocks site were forthcoming from the owners.  The Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Minutes Secretary were charged with keeping a watching brief and reactivating WAMRAG when such an event occurred.

We have now heard that a public exhibition is to be arranged by the site owners,  (now understood to be the Investec Bank) of their plans for the site.

This exhibition is to be held at the Crown Hotel in Woodbridge on the 24th and 25th of January 2013.

At this stage, we have little firm detail of the proposals other than that it includes:-

  • Industrial shed shell to be occupied by the Whisstocks Project, a community group with plans to build a full size Saxon ship replica within it.
  • The shell of a building to be used as a new Woodbridge Museum
  • A couple of restaurants/cafes, and some retail units
  • A number of flats (14 currently proposed)
  • There is also to be some public access for the frontage for community-run activities.
  • We do not yet know how the slipway and foreshore will be used or managed.  Will it be used for profit?  Or for  unrestricted launching of unsuitable craft?
  • We understand that part of the proposal also covers flats/houses on the Nunns Mill site.

The previous public exhibition of a scheme, including flats, in 2006 resulted in a public questionnaire survey by WAMRAG with an overwhelming majority opposed to flats on the Whisstocks site.  The results of the survey were incorporated into WAMRAG’s Management Plan and Vision for Whisstocks which were published and lodged with SCDC as part of their policy making documentation.

WAMRAG feels that the key issues to be debated at the Public Meeting are these:

Is the provision of the shed and museum shell as “community gain”, plus the ability to walk about in the public open space, sufficient to offset the concerns that we all had in 2006 about flats? In 2006 it was felt that it set a planning precedent for other waterside sites, heralding loss of boatyards and less profitable facilities?

  • If we can accept some flats, is this development, of 14 flats, reasonable given the housing also proposed for Nunns Mill site?

We urge all members and friends to visit this exhibition, ask searching questions and bring their observations and views to a WAMRAG  Public Meeting in the Woodbridge Community Hall at 7.30 pm on Sunday, February 10th, chaired by the Rt Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben.

Any members wishing to contact us to discuss any matter on the above or offer support with meeting arrangements etc , please contact either

Peter Clay  01394 384374  email pete@peterhenryclay.co.uk

Or David Poole 01394 386315   email  dave.poole@btinternet.com