Babergh and Ipswich councils set to clash over edge-of-town Wolsey Grange development

Proposed housing site in Poplar Lane, Sproughton, behind the Holiday Inn.

Proposed housing site in Poplar Lane, Sproughton, behind the Holiday Inn. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Two Suffolk councils are set to lock horns over the proposed construct of 475 homes on the edge of Ipswich.

Taylor Wimpey wants to build “Wolsey Grange” between Chantry Park and the A14, next to the Ipswich Holiday Inn.

Although the land is in the Ipswich built-up area, it is outside the borough boundary in Sproughton parish – part of Babergh council’s area.

But the borough has the right to comment on the application before it is considered by Babergh councillors – who come from an area stretching from Shotley in the east to Glemsford in the west – later in the year.

Tomorrow’s meeting of Ipswich’s planning and development committee is set to discuss the application – and its officers are recommending that not enough information has been given to make a decision on such a major application.

They say that the borough should urge Babergh to refuse the application until a planning masterplan for the whole south-west edge of Ipswich is drawn up – including the Chantry Vale and former Sugar Beet Factory sites are drawn up.

They also feel the standard of the proposed buildings alongside the A1071, the road towards Hadleigh, is not good enough – and fear an extra junction on to the A1214 will add to traffic chaos.

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Babergh planners have drawn up a “masterplan” for Wolsey Grange – but it covers a much smaller area than the borough thinks is necessary. It only considers the site for the 475 homes.

The borough planners feel this could lead to piecemeal development around the southern edge of Ipswich – although the final decision is with the Hadleigh-based authority.

A spokeswoman for Babergh said: “The importance of good road, public transport, cycle and pedestrian connectivity for the site was recognised at the time that the land was allocated as a Strategic Site in the 2014 Babergh Core Strategy.

“Ipswich Council was consulted at the time the allocation was made and its views were taken into account as part of that process.

“The Inspector’s report into the Examination in Public of the Core Strategy acknowledged that there had been constructive and active engagement between relevant local authorities and that the duty to co-operate between authorities had been met.

“The current application has been submitted in the context of a masterplan which was endorsed by Babergh District Council in July following a process that also included a series of public exhibitions and consultation with Parishes and Ipswich council.”