Government blocks plans for new Ravenswood affordable homes which were approved by Ipswich Borough Council

The site of the proposed new houses at Ravenswood, Ipswich.

The site of the proposed new houses at Ravenswood, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Homeowners in Ravenswood have backed the government’s decision to block plans to build 94 affordable homes in Ipswich.

Ipswich Borough Council approved plans for the ‘UVW’ scheme in Ravenswood in November 2014, before the government called in the scheme for review.

A public enquiry was held in September, which was backed by the planning inspector, but earlier this week secretary of state for communities and local government, Greg Clark, refused the application as it did not include a mix of affordable and private houses.

Now, the Ravenswood Residents’ Association (RRA) have voiced their support for Mr Clark’s decision.

“Effectively the secretary of state has ruled against IBC’s planning decision, and this vindicates the RRA’s view that the UVW development should have followed the mixed tenure design found elsewhere on Ravenswood,” said Bryan Patterson, from the association.

“It is to be hoped that IBC will now come up with a new workable plan that follows the government’s NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) guidelines for mixed tenure developments, although it is noted that IBC have a six-week period when they could lodge an appeal to the High Court against the secretary of state’s decision.”

Other readers on the Ipswich Star website echoed the association’s support.

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Online reader KSIK added: “With all the development in the area recently the traffic has become atrocious and we do not need more people on the surrounding roads at peak times.

“Also, the original plans were that the affordable housing was meant to be reasonably split with private housing. This was completely ignored by the council in this latest planning attempt.”

Earlier in the week, borough council leader David Ellesmere expressed his shock.

“After sitting on the report for more than six months, the secretary of state has now blocked the application.

“This is astonishing. I cannot think of an application turned down because the housing wasn’t expensive enough.

“The length of time it has taken to take this decision is likely to cost the council millions of pounds in lost rent, grants and increased construction costs, while families have been left languishing on the waiting list.”