Bid for £1.5m for Ipswich's Chantry Park rejected by developers

Chantry Park in Ipswich

Ipswich council had asked developers to contribute to the maintenance of Chantry Park. - Credit: Archant

A bid by Ipswich council to get developers to help pay £1.5m for work to Chantry Park when new homes are built nearby has been rebuffed - but the neighbouring council could help it out.

Phase Two of the new Wolsey Grange development is likely to see a total of 750 new homes built near the A1071 in Sproughton - between the A14 and London Road.

Although they are in the Babergh district, the new homes will be built right up to the borough boundary - right next to Chantry Park. So the borough was a statutory consultee on the planning application.

It wrote to developers Taylor Wimpey to ask for a £1.5m payment over several years to contribute to the management of the park because it is likely to be used by thousands of residents of the new development.

However the developers' agents replied that it was already committed to making a payment to Babergh through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) process. A further payment to the borough would mean it was paying twice for the same thing. 

There were open spaces and play equipment proposed for the new phase of Wolsey Grange - but they acknowledged residents would also use Chantry Park and suggested the borough should put in a funding bid to Babergh.

Wolsey Grange

Taylor Wimpey is creating open spaces and play areas at Wolsey Grange. - Credit: Angela Sharpe Photography

A Babergh District Council spokesperson said: “Through the planning process we can ensure developments include their own suitable open space and play areas, as is the case with Wolsey Grange.  

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"We hope, however, that residents would also be welcome to enjoy Chantry Park, as well as joining the thousands of visitors who appreciate the beautiful free surroundings of Babergh’s nearby Shotley peninsular, including Pin Mill and Alton Water.

“Financial contributions from developers can make a real difference in terms of helping local communities provide the facilities needed to keep pace with growth.  We work with a wide variety of organisations and partners through the CIL process.  

"Should IBC wish to make a CIL application, we would be happy to consider their request.”

Ipswich council portfolio holder for planning Carole Jones welcomed the comment from Babergh and was sure the borough would be asking for support to maintain Chantry Park.

Views of Chantry Park

Chantry Park is the largest in Ipswich - and reaches to the borough boundary and the edge of the Wolsey Grange site. - Credit: Janice Poulson/iWitness

She said: "For people living at Wolsey Grange their nearest parkland will be at Chantry and we do think we should look for a contribution to reflect that - I hope we can work with Babergh on this."