Decision made on Ravenswood 96 homes plan

CGI design for Ravenswood 96 homes

A CGI design for the 96 homes in Ravenswood, Ipswich, which have been granted planning permission - Credit: KLH Architects

Long-running plans to develop an unused portion of land at Ravenswood in Ipswich have finally been give the go-ahead after more than six years of work.

Ipswich Borough Council's wholly-owned company Handford Homes lodged plans to develop 96 homes on a portion of land on Ravenswood housing estate, known as the U,V and W parcels, comprising 67 council homes with affordable rents, 19 rented out by Handford Lettings at market rent, and 10 to be sold as starter homes.

Plans originally lodged back in 2014 were for 94 homes and approved by the council, before the secretary of state called-in the decision and overturned it. That was because it was deemed the affordable housing didn't totally integrate into the market homes through the estate.

CGI aerial view of plans for 96 Ravenswood homes

A CGI design of the layout of 96 homes in Ravenswood, Ipswich - Credit: KLH Architects

Fresh plans returned to the council's planning committee on Wednesday afternoon where they were approved by 10 votes to one.

Councillor Carole Jones said: "I really welcome this application. We have a real need to build homes and these homes are in line with the greatest needs of Ipswich people on our housing register."

She said the designs were "exemplary" and added: "This will transform the life chances of people who are in unfit housing now - it's really good news for Ipswich."

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Councillor Carole Jones said the 86 Ravenswood homes would make a real difference to people in Ipswich - Credit: Su Anderson

However, concerns were raised by 88 public objectors. Chief issues were the high concentration of affordable homes, and issues around Ravenswood estate only having one access point at the Thrasher roundabout.

Councillor Bob Hall said one roundabout was "just not adequate" while Bryan Patterson, chairman of the Ravenswood Residents' Association said "residents are starting to worry now if so many social homes are going to be plonked in one area".

Mr Patterson praised the designs and said residents were not NIMBYs, but said there were "severe traffic congestion problems at the one and only entrance to Ravenswood" and on the housing mix added: "All you have to do is keep a good balance between private and social housing".

Ravenswood Residents Association chair Bryan Patterson. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Bryan Patterson from the Ravenswood Residents' Association said a new access point to the estate was needed - Credit: Archant

Planning officer Richard Collins said that the level of affordable homes was considered acceptable because only 28% of the already-built 1,173 homes built on the entire Ravenswood development were affordable when 35% was the target. The additional affordable homes on the U,V,W portion brings that total up to 32%.

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Libby Hindle on behalf of the developers said: "Handford Homes was established to deliver housing that the market is failing to provide, and this development would make a sizeable contribution to the shortfall."