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Ipswich: Race against time to get northern fringe masterplan agreed

Ipswich Garden Suburb artists impression - the Ipswich Garden Suburb artists impression - the "lakes" in the foreground would only hold water after heavy rain.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
8:00 AM

Ipswich council is facing a race against time to get the masterplan for the largest development in the town since the 1950s approved.

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They are set to debate the masterplan for the 3,500-home northern fringe estate at next month’s full meeting of the borough – despite fears that some issues are not fully ironed out.

Council leader David Ellesmere told last night’s meeting of the Labour-dominated borough executive there could be no delay because an application to build 800 homes had been lodged by developers Mersea Homes and it was vital to have an interim Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in place before it was discussed by the authority.

Mr Ellesmere said: “Frankly it would be better if we did not have this application hanging over us, but it is so we need to get on with this.”

Ipswich Conservative MP Ben Gummer was at the meeting to back up Conservative calls for a delay of a few weeks to make changes to the SPD, and he agreed it would be better if there had not yet been a planning application lodged.

He had warned there were serious issues that needed to be resolved in the document – the most pressing was the question of transport links to the thousands of new homes.

He said: “This is perfect for more high-quality cycle links with the town centre like there are in London or Bristol but there is no detail on that. And there are few details about how the roads will cope with more traffic.”

He also pointed out that designs showed a cricket pitch being proposed for the side of a hill, and an illustration suggested there would be two lakes, when in fact these would be grass areas designed to soak up occasional heavy rain.

Borough executive member for planning and economic development Carole Jones said the SPD would be an evolving document to provide guidance for development as plans were submitted.

She said: “We don’t know what the traffic is going to be like in five years so we cannot make firm decisions on everything like that now.”

The borough had looked at designs across the country before working with planners David Lock Associates to draw up the masterplan for what is now officially called the Ipswich Garden Suburb.

Mr Gummer had suggested it would be good to look at new developments in Cambridge. Ms Jones said they had seen award-winning developments in Cambridge but there were also some that had not worked well.

And her colleague Phil Smart warned the Cambridge situation was different because of inflated house prices in the city.

He said: “You can get much more out of developers if they can sell their houses for much higher prices – we need to be realistic about what we can achieve here.”

The executive decided the SPD should be fully debated by the full council on September 17. Chief executive Russell Williams said there were no other contentious items planned for that meeting – and expected the northern fringe would be able to dominate it.

15 comments

  • And to add a nice man from the Conservative party told me on my doorstep the other day that he was in favour of a Northern Bypass. It's a must have, it's a vote winner in Ipswich, so perhaps our current MP should come out in support.

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    mmm

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

  • I made the effort to go along to the Garden Suburb consultation event, and it all looks lovely. But, as with I am guessing a lot of other local people, my big concern is the traffic. I listened to Councillor Jones commenting on Radio Suffolk after the Council meeting and her first point was about a Northern Bypass and how it was unrealistic and not down to IBC anyway. So from that I take it that lots of people have made the same point as me; no more development around Ipswich please until we have proper infrastructure plan in place. As said by Mark below, without it, the region is doomed...!

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    mmm

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

  • @Kieth don't presume to speak for others, lots of people would prefer not to sit in tin box and given safe alternatives there would be even more. When it's done right you'll usually get about 30% of journeys under 5 miles by bike combine that with decent public transport and you'll keep most of those 7000 extra cars of the road. That'll mean a lot more space for those times when a car is the right kind of transport. Whatever the answer is it still needs building into the plan though and this article doesn't inspire confidence.

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    IanW

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • Nothing must happen until the Northern By Pass has been approved , mr gummer your family will have to put up with the noise or move just like everybody else who live nearby you cant try and stop it can you.

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    a west

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • Agree entirely with Keith Hawes' comment - spot on. The Council seems hell bent on turning north Ipswich into one gigantic car park. The prospect of all that extra traffic does not bear thinking about.

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    Lakota S

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • So Grange Farm Traffic has ruined East Ipswich , Rushmere and Kesgrave . Now this new plan will ruin North Ipswich . GREAT ! Housing needs to be built all along the A14 from the Bridge Westwards , easy access to a major route giving good traffic flow around all parts of the town . Over the bridge for east ipswich , off at Toys r us or sproughton road or asda for west ipswich . But then that would be a good idea so not very likely , yes i know some is not in IBC control . If we need houses build them somewhere else as the traffic would be a nightmare , leading to more traffic lights as that cures everything

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    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • the MOST important issue is that of traffic flow in that area, 3,500 homes mean that probably that means 7,000 extra cars on the road every single day, Anybody who travels that part of town now that during school times and office traffic its long , long queues, just imagine another 7,000 cars on the road, I suspect this council is like the Ostrich who buries his head in the sand, more homes yes , but let the traffic build up and up so everybody gets on cycles, and we all know that will NEVER HAPPEN, people will NEVER get out of their cars . when will those idiots on the council finally realise it!!!.... For goodness sake, sort out the traffic flow issue before you gibe the go ahead for a further 3,500 homes!!.....WAKE UP IPSWICH!!

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    keith hawes

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • Our "can do" cousins in Norfolk have just secured the A11 upgrade at cost of £110m; and are set to win £140m for the A47 Norwich northern bypass. This is predicted to boost their local economy by £800m. A third of Suffolk's economy relies on the A14. 30,000 jobs are dependent on the success on Port of Felixstowe. Felixstowe, is the only major container port in Europe without a motorway connection, and is still served by a single track railway! The Treasury said it would commission feasibility studies for roads improvements elsewhere as part of a £100 billion splurge on infrastructure (over 8 years). So, why is Suffolk County Council are not applying for a slice of it ? Even if we put in a feasibilty study it could be 20 years to have the bypass built, …but if we dont it could be 50 years, Ipswich will have ground to a halt by then !

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    Mark Ling

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • At the risk of sending the comments off thread- theres no reason cycling from this proposed development to any part of Ipswich wouldnt be a perfectly feasible option given decent infrastructure but that doesnt mean lines painted on pavement or even the road painted blue as they do in London both of which do more harm than good. Not for everyone but if it was made it would reduce cars on the roads and increase capacilty. Back on the planning etc though this sounds like the council is being bumped into action by a pushy developer looking to take advatange of their lack of preperation. The council should tell them to hoof it and come up with a decent plan to which the builders can then apply.

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    IanW

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • How can they not know what the traffic will be like in 5 years? Has any trend inticated it EVER reducing? Have any viable alternatives been developed? I suspect no in whihc case one can be certain that at best traffic will be the same and at worst doubled. With the best will in the world cycling in Ipswich will never take of on account of the steep hills. Unless somone develops a huge business park along the Northern Fringe most people will not be working within reasonable cycling distance of home anyway. As others have said- Northen Bypass!

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    Sentinel Red

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • The way that this is being 'presented' to us by the EADT, it makes me wonder if there is anyone involved who knows anything about 'Town & Country Planning' ?

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    freedomf

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • If the developers and council cant do it properly by including all the public services and transport infrastructure required then it shouldnt happen at all.

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    IanW

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • Sounds like Gummer is making the same point about delay so don't understand why IBC are being criticised here. This development is another reason to press on with the northern bypass.

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    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • A further thought! Although I welcome Mr. Gummer's input on this subject and realise that these proposals do affect the whole of the town, a significant part of the "Garden Suburb" in fact lies within the Mid-Suffolk constituency. It would therefore be good to also hear some comments from his colleague Dr. Poulter.

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    Baptist Trainfan

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • This seems so ridiculous: once again IBC are panicking to get their Development Plan in place because Mersea Homes have put in a planning application to build in the Northern Fringe. The same thing happened 5 years ago, so they have had plenty of time to get their act together and work out the master-plan - they absolutely knew that another planning application was going to arise sooner or later! I appreciate that there has been a change in the political hue of the Council, but it seems crazy that they should have their backs to the wall once again.

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    Baptist Trainfan

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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

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