Broadmeadow development thrown out

IPSWICH's former sugar factory site is today facing an uncertain future after proposals to turn it into a housing estate were thrown out by the government.

IPSWICH's former sugar factory site is today facing an uncertain future after proposals to turn it into a housing estate were thrown out by the government.

And that decision could put extra pressure to develop land to the north of the town.

Developers JG Land had hoped to turn the site, just outside Ipswich in the parish of Sproughton, into “Broadmeadow” with homes, businesses, a new school and even a cricket pitch.

However the proposals fell foul of Babergh Council, which wants to see the site developed for commercial use.

A public inquiry into the proposals was held during the summer at Babergh's Hadleigh headquarters.

Inspector Richard Ogier recommended that the application should be rejected - a decision which was backed by the secretary of state for communities and local government.

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The site has been unoccupied since the closure of the sugar factory in 2001 - and until the Broadmeadow proposal there were no other offers for the land.

However Babergh chiefs remain upbeat that the site, between the A14 and the main rail line, will be attractive to companies looking for large site with good communication links.

Babergh council leader Nick Ridley - who represents Sproughton - said: "Babergh is very pleased with the Inspector's ruling.

“The ex-British Sugar site at Sproughton is one of a number of important employment sites along the A14 corridor that have the potential to provide this area's growing population with a range of much needed jobs."

The news is unlikely to be greeted with so much pleasure at Ipswich council.

In the past officials and councillors there had said that the development of new homes at Sproughton would ease the pressure to develop greenbelt land to the north of Ipswich, between Henley and Westerfield Roads.

Borough leader Liz Harsant said today: “I am very disappointed it has been rejected - I had thought that was a good use for the site.”

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