First houses near completion on Ipswich northern fringe

Henley Gate

The first new houses are taking shape at Henley Gate on the Ipswich Garden Suburb. - Credit: Paul Geater

After decades of debate, campaigning, and planning, the first homes are now nearing completion on Ipswich's northern fringe as Crest Nicholson pushes ahead with its Henley Gate development.

Henley Gate is being built between Henley Road and the north of the East Suffolk railway line. 

It is the first of the three neighbourhoods of the Ipswich Garden Suburb that will eventually provide about 3,000 homes together with new schools, community facilities, shops, and employment.

The Henley Gate development will also include a new country park that will be developed to provide a buffer between the new Ipswich communities and the village of Westerfield.

Outline planning permission for up to 1,100 homes at Henley Gate has already been granted - with full planning permission for the first phase of 130 homes.

The first homes to take shape are just off the junction with Henley Road that was created last year. They are near the sales office that Crest Nicholson has set up to sell the new homes it is building.

The other neighbourhoods are Fonnereau - between Henley Road and Westerfield Road to the south of the railway - and Redhouse, between Westerfield Road and Tuddenham Road.

Mersea Homes has been granted outline planning permission to build 815 homes and a shopping centre for the whole Ipswich Garden Suburb in the Fonnereau neighbourhood.

The Redhouse neighbourhood is expected to have slightly more than 1,000 homes and will eventually also include a new secondary school to cover the three neighbourhoods - that is due to be built near where the three areas meet each other near Westerfield station.

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All three neighbourhoods will include a new primary school each and there is expected to be new cycle and footpaths created to Westerfield station in an attempt to offer an alternative to using cars.

Henley Gate

The first new homes are nearing completion at Henley Gate on the Ipswich Garden Suburb. - Credit: Paul Geater

Proposals to develop the northern fringe first emerged in the 1980s - but were put on hold while other communities in and around Ipswich, including Grange Farm at Kesgrave, Ravenswood and Pinewood were built.

New proposals then came forward in the early years of this century, labelled the Ipswich Garden Suburb, and developers have been working with Ipswich council to develop the masterplan and get development started.

The full Ipswich Garden Suburb could take many years to develop - the exact timing is likely to depend on the strength of the economy and housing demand in the area.