Green light for allotment development

A CONTROVERSIAL development of 341 homes will be built on a former Ipswich allotment plot despite serious concerns over the size of the project.Planning bosses have given the go ahead for Crest Nicholson to build on the 16-acre old Hayhill Road allotment site, which runs adjacent to Woodbridge Road.

A CONTROVERSIAL development of 341 homes will be built on a former Ipswich allotment plot despite serious concerns over the size of the project.

Planning bosses have given the go ahead for Crest Nicholson to build on the 16-acre old Hayhill Road allotment site, which runs adjacent to Woodbridge Road.

The decision has sparked anger from campaigners who believe the sheer size of the project, the inadequate road access and the loss of a wildlife area make it an unattractive scheme.

The Hayhill Action Group (HAG) was formed last year in response to an earlier planning application for 371 homes, which was eventually rejected.

HAG member and Cemetery Road resident Susan Speight said she was surprised by Ipswich Borough Council's decision.

She said: “We were not opposed to building on the site because there was already outline planning permission to do so, but that permission was for 120 homes, not 341. The density is the problem.

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“This will make Woodbridge Road very busy and it will be dangerous in Hayhill Road where there will be a main point of access.

“We were surprised with decision because the arguments against the development were strong.”

Councillor Inga Lockington said she also had concerns with the scale of the estate.

She said: “When outline planning permission was given it was for fewer properties on more land, which included the BT site and the driving test centre site.

“It means you could have more houses in the future, perhaps up to a total of 450 or 500 units.”

The site has been earmarked for housing since 1997 when it was included as residential land in the Ipswich Local Plan.

The previous application was rejected last October because it was felt the proposed buildings were overbearing and did not fit in with the surroundings.

Planners also decided that designs for outside open spaces were unsatisfactory, flood risks were not fully considered and there would be a negative impact on traffic.

James Moody, managing director of Crest Nicholson said: “We provided a number of traffic impact assessments in relation to the site which have been approved by the Highways Agency.

“We hope that most people moving on to the site will not use their cars to drive into the town centre because of the close proximity they will be living to it.

“We will also be providing 94 affordable homes, three play areas and parking for residents in Woodbridge Road.”

Do you support the project? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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