Martlesham: Controversial bid to create ‘new town’ with 2,000 new homes at Adastral Park due to be decided later this year

Martlesham Heath and Adastral Park Martlesham Heath and Adastral Park

Richard Cornwell richard.cornwell@archant.co.uk
Thursday, February 20, 2014
4:02 PM

Controversial proposals to build 2,000 new homes on land at BT’s research centre at Martlesham Heath are likely to come before planners for a decision later this year.

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The scheme for Adastral Park was a key element of last month’s High Court case in which Suffolk Coastal District Council was cleared of acting unlawfully in its approval of its blueprint for future growth of the district.

No Adastral New Town (NANT) is planning to appeal against the decision because it was “made on such shaky foundations both in the normal planning process and in the council’s compliance with its obligations to protect the Deben Estuary”.

Suffolk Coastal, though, is now embarking on work to identify specific sites for homes in communities across the district and preparing to deal with the application, which it has had sitting on its books for five years.

The scheme – submitted in April 2009 – seeks to provide up to 60,000sq m of extra employment space in an innovation park with linked university provision, 2,000 homes, a mixed-use local centre, a school, a hotel, an energy centre, a public park and other areas of public open space, plus other community facilities.

There would also be major changes to the road network, with a roundabout on the A12 replaced with traffic lights and a seven-lane highway in places.

So far there have been nearly 200 objections lodged against the plans.

Philip Ridley, head of planning services at Suffolk Coastal, confirmed that now the court case was finished the district council would be able to decide the project, which will be one of the biggest ever to come before the authority’s planning committee.

He told councillors: “The Adastral Park plans involving the 2,000 houses are likely to come before councillors later this year.”

Ahead of that officers will be drawing up detailed reports analysing every aspect of the proposed development.

BT says its proposals “seek to secure Adastral Park’s long-term future as a world-class centre for technology and innovation, and ensure that it remains a key contributor to the local, regional and national economy”.

The company said: “BT believes this site presents a unique opportunity to create a truly integrated living and working community, and a genuinely sustainable development to help meet the local need for new homes.”

11 comments

  • If this development doesn't get approval then 2000 houses will still get built but on good farm land around Kesgrave, much of it already bought up by developers. Such development would not provide new money for schools and roads and would lead to much worse gridlock in the area.

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    amsterdam81

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

  • The residents of martlesham heath have been continually short changed. There were covenants in place preventing any new homes being built yet farriers close, horseman court etc were put up. Then the car parks at the square were built on including that abomination de-brink-on-de-green. Now there is going to be a huge housing estate overshadowing them. Who would want to live on the heath with all this going on? The law of supply and demand means they will be out of pocket with less valuable houses. Someone needs to do the right thing by these people.

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    IpswichResident

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • Trouble with housing figures is they are more about measuring potential buyers than need and there's a lot of money in building houses, providing mortgages and collecting taxes.

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    IanW

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

  • @Tamara - It says nothing about a priority for people living closer getting jobs. The idea is for anyone moving to the site (which is more than just BT by the way) for work from outside Ipswich can theoretically get a house nearby. |Again though, who'd want to live that close to work!

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    Chris Church

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  • "with a roundabout on the A12 replaced with traffic lights"... Have Suffolk Coastal and IBC merged....

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    DaveHedgehog

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

  • Having attended one of the original planning meetings for this application, and also recently objected on another unrelated application I can now see that decisions on such applications have probably all been made and the whole process is just a facade to give us the impression that our opinions count. Sad but true.

    Report this comment

    Adrian Day

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

  • Surely the locals nearby will benefit from increased property prices with the increased adastral park innovation employment area? its a shame most employment wont be from the Suffolk area. DaveHedgehog... its SCC not IBC...

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

  • Another Ipswich development on top of the 5,000 homes on the Northern Fringe, the 2,000 houses in Kesgrave already built all trying to go down Kesgrave Rd and around Ipswich. Northern Bypass must be paid for by this development and the Northern Fringe. Otherwise A12A14 at a standstill within 10yrs. As for "traffic lights" on to a main duel cariageway. What they should be doing is building a proper flyover junction. Finally have you noticed Suffolk Coastal building all their new houses on to Ipswich, Babergh Council building all it's commercial developments on the Sugar Beat Site and Ipswich having to put up with all the consequences, none of the income from rates and all the traffic, whilst lovely rural Suffolk goes on as it was with no effect.

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    The Ginge

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

  • “BT believes this site presents a unique opportunity to create a truly integrated living and working community” - Sorry but the last thing I want to do is live that close to where I work. Looking out of the window and seeing your office is not a good thing. It's bad enough the troubles that can accur from a few drinks at an office party, let along living a few houses down from your boss and you both seeing each other all the time. That's hell!

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    Chris Church

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

  • I'm all for building new housing as we desperately need it, however with the carnage that Grange Farm brings with the additional traffic, add another couple of thousand people (all with 2 cars) then you are in for gridlock. If this does go ahead, then if I was resident around there, I would be straight on the phone to the nearest estate agent and getting out of there, whilst the prices are still high.

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    Tedbundy

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

  • BT can not legally give priority to people who live locally so why are they allowed to make these claims? The jobs can and will go to anyone, the locals put up with the noise and the mess. There is no honestly in this process. Money wins.

    Report this comment

    Tamara Knight

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

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

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