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New bid for Ravenswood council homes despite residents’ opposition

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 September 2020

Ipswich council is hoping to build 96 new homes near Downham Boulevard on the Ravenswood development. Picture: IPSWICH COUNCIL/HANDFORD HOMES

Ipswich council is hoping to build 96 new homes near Downham Boulevard on the Ravenswood development. Picture: IPSWICH COUNCIL/HANDFORD HOMES

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Controversial proposals to build 96 new homes – including 67 council homes – on land at Ravenswood in Ipswich are set to go before planners.

A formal planning application has been made by Handford Homes, the housebuilding company owned by Ipswich Borough Council, after a public consultation on the proposal.

This would see the homes built on council-owned land near the school. As well as the council homes for affordable rent, there will also be 10 starter homes for key workers who want to get their first foot on the housing ladder and 19 homes for market rent.

MORE: New bid to build more council homes at Ravenswood

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Handford Homes’ chair Colin Kreidewolf said: “The validation of this application marks a significant step forward to deliver these 96 homes. If the application is approved then we would expect to start construction in summer 2021.”

The application has attracted opposition because of the number of proposed council homes on a housing development that was designed as mixed tenure – when Ravenswood was first developed in the 1990s it was designed to have 65% private homes and 35% affordable homes. This development will have twice that proportion of council houses.

An earlier attempt at building a totally council house development on the site was rejected by ministers five years ago – but Mr Kreidewolf said Handford Homes had ensured this development addressed those concerns.

The opposition to the proposal has been led by the Ravenswood Residents’ Association, whose chairman Bryan Patterson said: “20-plus years ago the Ravenswood estate was designed on behalf of IBC to be an answer for modern living where approximately 65% of private housing was to “pepper-potted” by 35% of social housing – some of which were to be old/diasabled people’s bungalows.”

Mr Kreidewolf said that across the entire Ravenswood development, the original house builders had put up less than that proportion of affordable housing, and this development of a total of 96 new homes would not bring the estate as a whole up to the level of private to affordable homes that had originally been proposed.

And several of the pre-application comments related to traffic issues that were beyond the scope of the planning application that has just been lodged.


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