Wavensmere Homes Submits Replan Proposal for £130m HMS Ganges Redevelopment

CGI of Barrelmans Point

Wavensmere Homes and Galliard Homes (Haylink Limited) have submitted a planning application to Babergh District Council to replan the remaining phases of the 58-acre (23.6Ha) Barrelman’s Point development, which is on the Shotley Peninsula, in Ipswich, Suffolk. The £130m project is bringing about the restoration and redevelopment of the former HMS Ganges Royal Naval Training Establishment (RNTE) which had lain derelict for 46 years.

Barrelman’s Point is located off the B1456 in the Shotley Gate Conservation Area at the southern end of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB. The new project plans to preserve and reanimate three listed structures, two scheduled ancient monuments, and two further non-designated heritage assets. The original extant planning application for the site was approved in 2015, followed by a subsequent approval in 2020 for amendments to the phase one design. The first of 81 homes within phase one of the coastal development are nearing completion, comprising two-, three-, four-, and five-bedroom houses.

cgi of barrelmans point
Streetscene of Barrelamans Point

James Dickens, Managing Director at Wavensmere Homes, said: “We are thrilled to have completed our replan of the 58-acre former HMS Ganges site, with our proposals now lodged with Babergh District Council. Redeveloping this site is a huge task and responsibility. There is so much history to celebrate, alongside the significant opportunity to deliver outstanding new homes and community facilities. The naval base has been out of bounds for 46 years, and there has been much to consider as we continue investing millions of pounds to inject a new lease of life into this highly scenic part of the Shotley Peninsula.

“Key aspects of our revised proposals include the preservation of the Grade II listed former military swimming pool, which we wish to transform into an indoor racquets centre for community use. A standalone care village with 75 apartments across five two-storey buildings will best respond to the sector requirements for independent living facilities. We have also proposed the reduction in size of an onsite 60-bedroom hotel to a six-bedroom boutique offering within Vicent House, which was formerly an Officers’ Mess.

“This replan will enable us to extend the design language evident across the first phase of the Barrelman’s Point restoration and build programme. We are also nearing completion of the painstaking restoration of the Grade II listed 142ft naval mast, which we plan to unveil later this year. We are immensely proud to be reanimating this atmospheric site and can now welcome prospective purchasers to the site so they can see how the development is taking shape and choose their preferred home design and plot.”

More than 160,000 Navy recruits passed through the gates of the HMS Ganges training base, until its closure in June 1976 and the symbolic mast is the best-known landmark across the entire Shotley Peninsula. Made of iron, steel, and timber, it dates back to 1865, and was erected in 1907 where HMS Ganges, a 74-gun 18th Century ship had stood, before retiring to Chatham Dockyard in Kent two years prior. A ceremony took place in mid-2022 to commemorate the last time the mast was manned, which was on 6th June 1974. All sections of the mast have since been taken down by specialist restorers, except for the lower steel section.

The revised plans for Barrelman’s Point have been drawn up by nationally acclaimed architects Franklin Ellis. A total of 303 two-, three-, four-, and five-bedroom houses have been designed to complement the vast open spaces and new amenity provision that the development will offer future residents and those already living in Shotley. The historic Nelson Hall – a former drill hall – will also be restored and redeveloped to create a potential public library facility, meeting hall, and large café space. The vast hall is currently being utilised to restore the mast. A convenient store, co-working office space, creche, and museum are also proposed on site.

The amenities for residents’ use will be managed with a low service charge across the 58-acre development, alongside several landscaped public open spaces, new biodiverse meadow planting, tree lined avenues, and children’s play areas.

The name for the development – Barrelman’s Point – gives affirmation to the person who would be stationed in the barrel of the foremast to aid navigation of the vessel. HMS Ganges Museum and Shotley Marina are both only a few minutes’ walk from the new development. The village of Shotley also includes a primary school and local facilities.

30% of the first phase of 81 high specification homes have already been matched with buyers at the off-plan stage. Two-bedroom semi-detached and terraced Baker, Hayes, and Nicholson houses are priced from £280,000 to £285,000. Three-bedroom Luttrell, Truscott, Archer, and Brisbane houses are priced from £365,000 to £375,000. Four-bedroom detached Boston homes are priced at £450,000, while five-bedroom executive Campbell houses are priced at £525,000. All homes feature air source heat pumps, 7kW EV car charging points, and have been designed using a fabric-first approach, to retain heat energy.

The B1456 leads to the A137, with the A120, A12, and A14 also easily accessible, providing convenient travel across the county and beyond. The historic city of Ipswich is five miles away, which includes a host of town centre amenities and visitor attractions. There are frequent services from Ipswich train station to London Liverpool Street, which take an hour.

Headquartered in Edgbaston, Birmingham, Wavensmere Homes has close to 3,500 properties in production, or in planning.

For further information on Barrelman’s Point, or to book a tour or virtual appointment, call 01473 233 966, or email [email protected].

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