Houses could be set for Showground

PART of Suffolk's biggest open-air arena could be redeveloped for about 250 new homes, it was revealed today.But the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) stressed that the county show would not be moving - and the money generated from land sold would be used to improve the event.

PART of Suffolk's biggest open-air arena could be redeveloped for about 250 new homes, it was revealed today.

But the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) stressed that the county show would not be moving - and the money generated from land sold would be used to improve the event.

The bid involves using part of the Suffolk showground, now known as Trinity Park, and other land nearby for 970 new homes needed for east Ipswich.

In a Suffolk Coastal District Council report put out to public consultation planners talked about redeveloping the whole of the £100 million site and said the biggest issue would be the relocation of the county showground.


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It is one of five sites on the east of Ipswich which have been identified as possible places for new homes in the next 15 years.

But SAA chief executive Chris Bushby said the association was only proposing to use 17 acres of the 350-acre site for homes.

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The land around its edge had been bought by the SAA over the years with a view to the long-term.

He said: “There would be no impact on the Suffolk Show and the event will definitely not be moving. If we could use 17 acres for housing this would generate some money which we could use to improve our facilities and accelerate our development.”

One project is a £3 million set of buildings for livestock displays.

In the past few years the showground has seen huge investment with a new conference centre and other facilities, used for all kinds, from special activity weekends, to meetings, weddings and balls.

Deputy Suffolk Coastal council leader, Andy Smith, said the authority was currently looking at “possible broad locations for housing growth” and would decide on the specific sites later in the year after analysing the results of the public consultation.

He said: “In round figures, we think that there should be around 1,000 homes built in the east of Ipswich area and a further 1,600 at Felixstowe, Walton and the Trimley villages.

“What we now want to hear is people's ideas on where, in broad terms, those areas it would be appropriate for those homes to go. I would emphasise that the priority will continue to be to redevelop brownfield sites where possible before Greenfield ones.

“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.”

Should the Suffolk Showground be used for housing? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Suffolk Showground

The showground has been the home for the Suffolk Show - a platform for showing off the best of the county's agriculture, help businesses promote themselves, educating people about the countryside and Suffolk life - since 1960.

Before that it was held in various parts of the county, including twice in Felixstowe, on land in High Road East.

The show is run by the Suffolk Agricultural Association, which was set up in 1831 to put on the show and today works to promote agriculture through the development of skills and techniques and research.

Planners say advantages of the area for homes is the site is close to existing developments and facilities, but it would increase traffic on the A14 and Felixstowe Road into Ipswich town centre.

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