BT housing scheme in spotlight

AMBITIOUS proposals to transform BT's Martlesham Heath site with up to 2,000 new homes have today been included in potential sites for future housing.The scheme - unveiled exclusively by the Evening Star last autumn - is among five options to provide housing for the Ipswich eastern fringe for the next 15 years on which the public is being asked its views.

AMBITIOUS proposals to transform BT's Martlesham Heath site with up to 2,000 new homes have today been included in potential sites for future housing.

The scheme - unveiled exclusively by the Evening Star last autumn - is among five options to provide housing for the Ipswich eastern fringe for the next 15 years on which the public is being asked its views.

But even if BT is chosen, planners are likely to use only half the housing land available at this stage, and say they are looking for only 970 homes.

However, that would still allow growth in the future and solve some of the ongoing issues of finding land for housing.

Maps issued by Suffolk Coastal show the site as one possibility for new housing; others are land at Westerfield, Rushmere St Andrew, part of the Suffolk showground, and opposite Foxhall waste site.

The council has stressed the sites are “possible broad locations for housing growth” and specific sites will be identified once the public has given its views and councillors choose preferred options.

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Council deputy leader, Andy Smith said: “The stark facts are that we need to plan for more homes, and that the best place is in a group close to where there is already the jobs, schools, shops, roads and other infrastructure that are needed for quality of life, or the group itself is big enough to support new facilities.”

Residents and interested organisations have until March 28 to submit their views.

Mr Smith said: “Given an enormous spectrum of views, and many conflicting objectives, it won't be possible 'to please all the people all the time.

“Nevertheless, the wider - and better informed - the public debate can be, the better we will together be able to get to the best set of solutions.

“We have to work within a huge set of constraints. There are government policies and rules we must follow, and many circumstances and trends in society which may or may not be welcome, but which are not going to go away should we ignore them.”

Where should home be built on Ipswich's eastern fringe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

BT'S MASTERPLAN

BT has drawn up a masterplan to turn 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.

It would provide for BT's future needs, create more than 1,000 jobs, and include 2,000 homes, sports and leisure facilities, a new primary school and a health centre, hotel and a renewable energy plant.

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

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