£50m housing projects set to provide 270 new Ipswich homes

A CGI image of the planned development of 150 new homes on the former BT site in Bibb Way, Ipswich

A CGI image of the planned development of 150 new homes on the former BT site in Bibb Way, Ipswich - Credit: STANLEY BRAGG ARCHITECTS

Three new housing projects set to create more than 270 homes will get under way in Ipswich this year, it has been revealed.

The schemes - costing more than £50million - are being driven by Ipswich Borough Council and its wholly-owned company, Handford Homes.

Planning permission for the U, V and W portions of Ravenswood totalling 96 homes was approved in March last year after a six-year process, with 67 homes due to be affordable rent, 19 market rent and 10 allocated as starter homes.

A CGI image of the new 96-home development in Ravenswood, Ipswich. Picture: KLH ARCHITECTS

A CGI image of the new 96-home development in Ravenswood, Ipswich - Credit: KLH ARCHITECTS

The council said some enabling work had already been completed, which included widening the Fenbright Circle, with main work due to begin on site later in 2022 despite initial tenders failing to attract a suitable bid.

A report to go before the council's executive next week said the scheme is expected to be between £15m and £20m but the construction market is experiencing some challenges currently with high construction inflation, supply chain issues and labour supply.

A CGI image of the new 96-home development in Ravenswood, Ipswich. Picture: KLH ARCHITECTS

The new 96-home development in Ravenswood, Ipswich, is set to start late this year - Credit: KLH ARCHITECTS

It said: “Handford Homes is reviewing its requirements and how the development is delivered before beginning a new procurement process.

“Handford Homes expects work to start on-site later in 2022 once contracts have been awarded to deliver the scheme.”

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In Fore Hamlet, the council took possession of the former Hope Church building in January following the church’s move into the old Odeon, with the council planning to knock down the building as it is not suitable for conversion.

The former Hope Church in Fore Hamlet, Ipswich, which is due to be knocked down to make way for 30 new flats.

The former Hope Church in Fore Hamlet, Ipswich, is due to be knocked down to make way for 30 new flats - Credit: JASON NOBLE LDRS

That will then make way for 30 flats, likely to cost around £7.5m with the aim to make a start in late 2022 and complete in early Summer 2024.

The council is proposing to let the new homes for affordable rent.

Another significant housing project is for the former BT offices in Bibb Way, which will deliver 150 new homes.

A CGI image of the planned Bibb Way development - permission was granted last year

A CGI image of the planned Bibb Way development - permission was granted last year - Credit: STANLEY BRAGG ARCHITECTS

Planning permission was agreed in the summer of 2021 for the site, vacant since 2014.

The council report said: “Prior to the sale to the council, IBA had already carried out demolition works, design and necessary surveys.

“Handford Homes expects to procure contractors to start work on-site later in 2022 and for the scheme to be completed in 2024.”

The developments are set to help the town meet its housing growth requirements, with next week’s executive meeting also due to approve the council’s updated local plan which will provide a blueprint for future development sites up to 2036.