Ravenswood council housing development set to be approved

Will changes to planning rules take away the voice of local residents on new developments like the n

Will changes to planning rules take away the voice of local residents on new developments like the new homes in Ravenswood? IPSWICH COUNCIL/HANDFORD HOMES - Credit: Archant

A scheme to build 96 council-owned homes on the Ravenswood estate in Ipswich is set to receive the go-ahead next week.

Handford Homes, which is owned by Ipswich Borough Council, has applied to build the development on land off Downham Boulevard, behind Ravenswood Community Primary School.

Of the new homes, 67 will be added to the council’s housing stock for affordable rents, 19 will be rented out by Handford Lettings for market rents, and 10 will be offered for sale as starter homes.

The developer hopes the first tenants could be in the homes by early 2022.

A previous application to build 94 council homes on the site was approved by Ipswich council in 2014.

However, it was then called in by the Department for Communities and Local Government as it was seen to be in contravention of the local plan, which said the area should be for mixed development.

The Ravenswood Residents' Association has outlined its concerns over the planned development, highlighting its potential impact on traffic and the mixture of housing type.

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Chairman Bryan Patterson previously said a mixture of 65% private homes and 35% affordable on the Ravenswood estate had "worked really well" and said a development of this size could increase traffic issues.

He added: "We aren’t against new homes, but we want to see the mixed tenure.

"There are also concerns about the increase of traffic at peak times getting into and out of Ravenswood.

"They say that the roads will be fine with their projections, but they date back 20 years and there are more cars on the roads now."

However, a Handford Homes spokesman said the developers "recognise and sympathise" residents' concerns and pledged to make improvements to the traffic flow system on the estate.

The spokesman added: "We understand that the road system in Ravenswood was designed to handle traffic from all the development areas, including that which we are proposing to develop via this application.

"Ipswich needs additional housing and this site has long been allocated for such development."

Ipswich council's planning and development committee is due to meet on Wednesday, with the plans being recommended for approval.

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