Adastral Park plan set for green light

AMBITIOUS proposals to transform BT's Martlesham Heath site with more than 1,000 new homes today look set to be agreed by community leaders.

Richard Cornwell

AMBITIOUS proposals to transform BT's Martlesham Heath site with more than 1,000 new homes today look set to be agreed by community leaders.

The project for the land around Adastral Park has now been put forward by planners as the “preferred option” to provide for the housing needs of east Ipswich for the next 15 years.

It is in line with a masterplan submitted by BT to transform its Adastral Park research and development facility into a Suffolk Innovation Park to attract other hi-tech companies, and provide new facilities for collaboration with universities, revealed exclusively by the Evening Star last year.

It would provide for BT's future needs, create more than 2,500 jobs, and include homes, sports and leisure facilities, a new primary school and a health centre, hotel and a renewable energy plant.

Members of Suffolk Coastal's local development framework task group meets on July 28 to discuss the multi-million pound project and is asked to agree the homes allocation.

Most Read

Between 1,000 and 1,650 homes will be built on the fields around the BT site by 2025 with more land available - up to 2,000 homes in total - for future needs.

Four other options - including land at Westerfield, Rushmere St Andrew, part of the Suffolk showground, and opposite Foxhall waste site - were rejected.

A report to councillors says there are several advantages to the BT site.

It says: “In comparison with other areas which are predominantly farmland much of the area has the opportunity for mineral extraction before being developed.

“The land is immediately adjacent to a substantial employment area with the potential to intensify and the opportunity is available to create a new community - not necessarily 'phase 2' of Martlesham Heath.

“This community will be large enough to support new facilities and services, including a primary school, with the opportunity to consider sixth form provision building on the reputation and linked to Adastral Park.

“By creating a community there is the ability to ensure that infrastructure is in place and construction takes place in accordance with sound principles of sustainability.”

Public transport and access onto the A12 will need to be improved and the phasing of the development agreed to ensure community facilities are built at the right time.

Adastral Park extends to around 100 acres but the company also owns some 250 acres of additional land to the south and east, some of it farmland, woodland, and some used for quarrying aggregates.

The proposal would push the value of Adastral Park to the area's economy to more than £1billion a year.

- Is the BT Adastral Park site the best option for homes? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail