Ipswich: Battle-lines drawn over new council house proposals for Ravenswood

Ravenswood Primary head Karen Mills. Ravenswood Primary head Karen Mills.

Thursday, August 7, 2014
9:27 AM

Angry residents of the Ravenswood area of Ipswich are to battle plans for nearly 100 new council homes on the development.

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The borough is planning to build 94 new council homes between Fen Bright Circle and Ravenswood Primary School.

Of these two would be four-bedroomed family homes. There would be 46 one-bedroomed homes and 46 two-bedroomed homes.

However residents living on the estate fear that creating a block of nearly 100 council homes will change the balance of the estate – the development was designed to be split 65/35 between private housing and “social housing.”

And they are concerned about the lack of consultation and changes to the original proposal that Ravenswood should be a mixed development – without large areas set aside for social housing.

The meeting was told that originally there were plans for 77 homes for older people on the site.

Andrew Picton said there had been two consultation meetings with the council – the first had been poorly-attended because few knew about it, but the second had been better attended.

He added: “We were informed at the second consultation meeting that the school headteacher was consulted and that she had no objections, we’ve subsequently learnt that this was untrue.”

Ravenswood Primary School headteacher Karen Mills said she had understood they were talking about 77 homes which would have no impact on the school.

“We will welcome all children to the school – but this would have an impact on the school and we are not happy about that,” she said.

Bryan Patterson told the meeting of the Ravenswood Action Group that only 40 of the 80 homes in the area had been told about the plans – and a single notice had been put up on a lamp post.

He also said the proposal went against the council’s aim of creating a mixed development in Ravenswood, it would create a separate area different to the rest of the development.

Borough council housing spokesman John Mowles was at the meeting and said the executive was likely to discuss the proposed homes again before a formal planning application for the homes was submitted.

However he was keen to stress this did not necessarily mean there would be any changes to the proposals.

He said: “This land has been ready for development for many years and no one else has been able to get on and build there – we want work to start as soon as possible.”

20 comments

  • If the development is going ahead, it should be a mix of privatecouncil as this is one of the reasons why Ravenswood has been such a success. The residents of Ravenswood aren't against council housing. Privateaffordable homes are mixed together across the estate, crime is very low and it's a nice place to live and a friendly community. Even the council's own policy is to create mixed communities (and by definition not segregate council homes). The council are going against their own (successful) policy. No one is suggesting that all private tenants are good and all council tenants aren't. What we are suggesting is that areas with is a mix of privateaffordable housing work a lot better than areas which are all council - for everyone. Residents here who lived on council estates previously say they prefer living in a mixed community. If you look at the crime statistics for Ravenswood, these are relatively low, much lower than areas with high levels of council property. SentinelRed may have experience in housing but she is not familiar with the detail of this case. We had two people speak at the residents meeting, each with at least 15 years of experience in working with housing (locally and elsewhere) with council and affordable properties. From their experience, having a segregated council area in the middle of a mixed development will cause a lot of issues, especially considering the target age group for the properties (17 to 30). Of course, only time will tell if this is a good idea or not. At worst it will be a disaster for the area, and at best it's a poorly thought out council experiment on an estate that currently works very well. The residents of Ravenswood aren't against council houses and appreciate that people need a place to live. What we are against is the creation of a segregated community within a community. Ravenswood has been a great success due to private and affordable homes being mixed together. Any new development should follow this successful formula. Ipswich Borough Council should continue to build successful mixed communities rather than going back decades and segregating council tenants from the rest of the community.

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    RobbieS

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • And people bought houses there on the basis that IBC would keep its word as to the social and economic mix? Oh dear, that was unwise. I thought everyone was up to speed on the double talk of IBC these days? As to the concerns of tracy seymour, I don't think it is council tenants like you that they are worried about. but you see not all the council nominees will be like your family. These days, you can get some very dodgy types living next door and making your life a misery.

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    Gobby

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • It also begs the question of where these vulnerable people should be housed. Some of the comments make it clear they do not think it should be in these proposed houses. If not, then where should they be housed? By definition, if they are not suitable tenants for Ravenswood then they are not suitable for any other area in Ipswich. The logical conclusion of this is that there should be the creation of specific areas where vulnerable people are allowed to live.

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    Esco Fiasco

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Are the residents of Ravenswood all Tory voters? I live in a council house and my son and I both work and pay our rent. Do these people consider themselves superior to council house tenants. I find it an insult.

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    tracy seymour

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • The legal definition of vulnerable includes a variety of groups, the elderly, the mentally of physically handicapped, parents with young children, those leaving the armed forces, those fleeing violence and yes, those leaving prison who have served their time. All these groups are as likely as any to be single, in receipt of state support and in need of one bedroom accommodation. Anyone on the sex offenders register and a danger to children would not be housed by a school. As somone who working in housing and homelessness ( Not in Ipswich, not for the Council and not with offenders) it seems to me that this is a perfect location for vulnerable people. They have shops nearby, a safe community in which to establish a home, access to transport, doctors surgeries and local shops, for those few who have a family big enough for a house they will need a school too. The error here is in he local authority not explaining to the community sufficiently well that vulnerable people are not all drug addicts and rapists, but in fact could be you, I or any of us should our helth and wealth deteriorate. It is highly unlikely that the Council will reconsider their decision to place large scale social housing on Ravenswood when there is already some there. They won't build it on the planned delevlopment up by Westerfield station as that sounds like it will be for the detached home with a double garage sorts. With the need to upgrade the road infrastructure in Ravenswood already identified, Ravenswood is almost certainly set now as a growing urban suberb. Private housbuilding will follow and I'm pretty sure than within the next 10 years the development will extend way back along the road towards Augusta Close.

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    Sentinel Red

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • There seems to be so many short-sighted people who assume that social housing tenants will be trouble while privately rented tenants will be fine. If anything, it's far easier to remove problem tenants from council housing than it is private housing. This whole attitude stinks of hypocrisy as there were many who didn't want Ravenswood developed in the first place

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    Esco Fiasco

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • SentinelRed: here's a more accurate perspective... the council has already confirmed that "vulnerable" people will be getting priority for the houses. This includes ex-offenders. The development is also right next to a school. Surely Ipswich Borough Council and the ward's Labour councillors can see that this isn't a good combination???

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    RobbieS

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Ahhh. Nimbyism. Heres a perspective. I live on chantry. One of only 2 private flats on a close of 1 bedroom flats occupied to council tenants.Only one bad egg in our 'hood. Being evicted soon. Before that I lived on Ranelagh Rd- new development of 380 odd flats with roughly a 3rd being social housing. Had very serious drug problem wekll covered by this paper and the roof blew off the private flats ( badly built). Dont judge a book by its cover. Social housing does not always meen all problem people, and private development is badly built, cramped and often bought by investor landlords who let to problem people.

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    Sentinel Red

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • I can understand the concerns about council property disappearing under the right to buy system. Babergh have properties, mainly one or two bedroomed and the tenancy agreement excludes them from right to buy, solving the problem. IBC should consider that ploy.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Personally anyone who will agree with the housing being developed is stupid in my mind. I am a resident on Ravenswood Estate for about 7 years and we are a mixed community, we all get on very well and help each other out as best we can and have never had any problems. The reason a lot of us including me are against this development is because as we were told last night at the meeting that there will be people out of prison moving in, drug addicts, alcoholics and paedophiles right next to a primary school! Its absolutely disgusting, so how could any one in there right mind be for this! We don't mind families or any one else for that matter moving on to the estate it's the fact there will be a group sum of them all together in one plot. I love leaving here knowing its safe and there's no trouble. Again we are a mixed community and we are not dividing anyone at all, but would you want your family or children living near those kind of people? From Ellen Whight, 18 years old, Student.

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    EllenWhight

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • I don't see what the fuss is at about from those living there did they not move on the estate that was once an airfield that a lot of people did not want houses built on ,so why complain when the boot is on the other foot.

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    pandy

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Labour, tory, lib dem, all the same, politicians getting what they want, a consultation was held at the fire station 3 years ago by council leaders, no one wanted houses on that land,100% against, 68 houses are ready to be lived in ,traffic cant cope now, doctors schools struggling, as long as they keep council tax rolling in, they can pay themselves a bit more.

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    this is what we pay tax for

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Residents are angry that the 'consultation' was limited with no attempt whatsoever to to take account of our views and by the misrepresentations that are coming from the council during the meeting. Intially we were told the housing was for the retired and those looking to downsize, then they admitted that priority would be given to the 'vulnerable' (and we all know what that means). They were vague about many details they should have known. They have gone against their own housing policy and other representatives from the nhs, the school, etc are not happy. We are not saying no to council houses we are saying no to dumping 100% council housing there.

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    Sarah Patmore

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Building 1 and 2 bedroom homes is a must for this town , we need to release 3 bedroom homes for families, I do however believe it is residents concerns as to who will move in that is the underlying cause for concern. As there are small homes it is likely to be for single people, couples and starter homes or those people whose family have grown up and left but still have to remain in a larger home. As for the original split of 6535 private to social mix that was intended, how much of the 65% private homes are owner occupiers? I bet many of this number of properties have been bought but are rented out largely to tenants on Housing benefit, Cynical though I may be, I reckon these landlords are getting worried that their bubble will burst. Surely instead of the state paying large amounts in housing benefit we should be pleased the Council is able to build new houses for an affordable rent.

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    Footyfan

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • lol there goes the neighbourhood.. at least it could force out the stuck up residents who think the glorified nacton estate cul-de-sac is something special. Coming back to reality, as it really is just one massive cul-de-sac that already can't handle traffic in an out i hope they are planning to put a couple more roads leading in with these new houses.

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    John Smith

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Amsterdam81: Ravenswood is a mixed community of privateaffordable that works very well at the moment. By making the new development 100% council, IBC are going against their own policy of creating mixed communities, and they are going against the wishes of the residents. Yes there is demand for smaller homes but this is in both the private and affordable sectors which is another reason for the new development to be mixed. The residents bought into Ravenswood as it was promoted by IBC as a mixed community and not a mixed community with a mini council estate in the middle of it.

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    RobbieS

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • With changes to housing benefits recently introduced there seems to be a shortage of one bed property so this should be a good start in addressing that shortage. With right to buy it seems unlikely they will remain in public ownership for too long. As IBC always owned the airport site one assumes they still own the land so there seems to be every reason to move this forward asap.

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    amsterdam81

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • With an election coming up, some may suggest that Labour are splashing taxpayers cash on a council house giveaway to get votes from their core supporters. I was at the meeting. It is clear from their reactions to questions that the local Labour councillors will not be listening to the residents of Ravenswood and will move forward with their own agenda. The ward councillors are supposed to represent the residents of Ravenswood but this is not happening. The residents of Ravenswood will remember this at election time. Let this be a lesson for other private and mixed communities in Ipswich -- Labour could be building homes near you soon and they don't give a flying fig about what local residents think.

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    RobbieS

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • What is the point in building 46 one bedroom homes on a family estate who are they going to put in them. Why not build all 2 bed homes at least familys can benefit.

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    royg

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Good luck ! IBC will do what they want as that is how they work , there is no justifiable reason for them not to build these houses here .

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    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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