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First look at detailed plans for Henley Gate scheme in Ipswich Garden Suburb

PUBLISHED: 16:16 12 March 2016 | UPDATED: 21:26 12 March 2016

Visitors look at the Henley Gate plans exhibition at Ipswich Sport Club.

Visitors look at the Henley Gate plans exhibition at Ipswich Sport Club.

More than 1,000 homes, a country park the size of Christchurch Park and a primary school would be built in a new community near Ipswich, developers today unveiled.

Visitors look at the Henley Gate plans exhibition at Ipswich Sport Club. Visitors look at the Henley Gate plans exhibition at Ipswich Sport Club.

Crest Nicholson today displayed proposals for the Henley Gate area of the Ipswich Garden Suburb – or northern fringe – to the public at the Ipswich Sports Club in Henley Road.

Henley Gate is one of three neighbourhoods proposed for the northern fringe of Ipswich which could see up to 3,500 new homes built over a 10-year period, along with schools, shops, and business premises.

The exhibition confirmed the entire Ipswich Garden Suburb scheme would include:

- Three new primary schools

Dennis Innes, Regional Development Director of Crest Nicholson at the Henley Gate exhibition at Ipswich Sport Club talk to visitors. Dennis Innes, Regional Development Director of Crest Nicholson at the Henley Gate exhibition at Ipswich Sport Club talk to visitors.

- A new secondary school, including a sixth form

- A community centre

- A country park with visitor centre

- A district centre and two local centres

- New footpaths to connect the new homes to the town centre, just over a mile away

- Two new bridges across the railway line, one for vehicles and one for pedestrians

- New bus links

- Sustainable drainage systems

- New health facilities

- New allotments, open space, sports pitches and children’s play areas

To see the proposals in full, click here. A full report will also be online later.

Residents who attended the exhibition expressed concerns over the additional traffic the development would bring to the town. One said the town could be “gridlocked”, while others voiced fears over the impact on local healthcare provision and providing enough jobs.

But the developers insisted within their proposals: “We want residents to have convenient and sustainable transport choices so they can decide how to get around the Garden Suburb or travel further afield.

“The Henley Gate transport strategy will promote healthier and cleaner transport options. On the one hand this means incentives to travel by sustainable modes and stay within the development (insofar as possible), on the other this means managing traffic and discouraging use of the car.”

It added: “Access to the site is in line with the council’s supplementary planning document (SPD), the main access to the site will be from Henley Road via two traffic signal controlled junctions.

“These junctions will also incorporate pedestrian and cyclist access to the site, as well as controlled crossings on Henley Road linking the site with adjacent areas to the west.

“Further pedestrian access points will also be provided on Henley Road to make walking into the site hassle-free. Bus routes servicing the site will also be able to use these junctions.

“The SPD proposes a new vehicular bridge over the railway line to link the site with land to the south within the Ipswich Garden Suburb area which is being developed by others. A railway bridge will be delivered as part of the Henley Gate proposals in order to maximise the local connections.”

A second bridge over the railway line is also proposed on the route of the Fonnereau Way public footpath.

Duncan Innes, regional development director of Crest Nicholson, said: “This is the first time people have seen anything in high level detail for the Henley Gate part of the Ipswich Garden Suburb development, which will bring social economic benefits to Ipswich at a time when I think it is really growing.

“Key parts include the Country Park, which is 30 hectares and the same size as Christchurch Park, the primary schools, and the broad housing development ranging from two- to five-bedroom houses, including affordable homes, which will really help the 25 to 35 year olds who are struggling to get on the housing ladder.

“We have had a really good engagement with the local residents who attended, but we do recognise traffic concerns.

“Clearly, developments generate traffic, but we are hoping to put in place a number of junction improvements along Valley Road, such as widening junctions and signalled controlled junctions, while the bridge over the railway line will funnel around traffic and go through the middle of the site.

“We have not got a definitive answer yet but we are still in discussion with Suffolk County Council about the traffic assessment and we have got three or four months before we submit our planning application.”

The proposals are guided by a local plan being produced by Ipswich Borough Council (IBC).

The local plan is in its final stages prior to adoption, with Henley Gate allocated in the draft plan. IBC submitted the plan to the Secretary of State for examination in December 2015. An examination by a planning inspector is due to take place in this month or April. The inspector will then make a recommendation as to whether the local plan can be adopted as policy.

The planning application for Henley Gate is due to be submitted by Crest Nicholson in June. A decision could be provided by the end of 2016 or early 2017, the developer believes.

The Henley Gate public exhibition runs at the same venue on Monday from 4pm to 7.30pm.

People who attend can submit written feedback to the developers.

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