Ipswich: Battle-lines drawn over new council house proposals for Ravenswood

Ravenswood Primary head Karen Mills.

Ravenswood Primary head Karen Mills. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Angry residents of the Ravenswood area of Ipswich are to battle plans for nearly 100 new council homes on the development.

The borough is planning to build 94 new council homes between Fen Bright Circle and Ravenswood Primary School.

Of these two would be four-bedroomed family homes. There would be 46 one-bedroomed homes and 46 two-bedroomed homes.

However residents living on the estate fear that creating a block of nearly 100 council homes will change the balance of the estate – the development was designed to be split 65/35 between private housing and “social housing.”

And they are concerned about the lack of consultation and changes to the original proposal that Ravenswood should be a mixed development – without large areas set aside for social housing.

The meeting was told that originally there were plans for 77 homes for older people on the site.

Andrew Picton said there had been two consultation meetings with the council – the first had been poorly-attended because few knew about it, but the second had been better attended.

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He added: “We were informed at the second consultation meeting that the school headteacher was consulted and that she had no objections, we’ve subsequently learnt that this was untrue.”

Ravenswood Primary School headteacher Karen Mills said she had understood they were talking about 77 homes which would have no impact on the school.

“We will welcome all children to the school – but this would have an impact on the school and we are not happy about that,” she said.

Bryan Patterson told the meeting of the Ravenswood Action Group that only 40 of the 80 homes in the area had been told about the plans – and a single notice had been put up on a lamp post.

He also said the proposal went against the council’s aim of creating a mixed development in Ravenswood, it would create a separate area different to the rest of the development.

Borough council housing spokesman John Mowles was at the meeting and said the executive was likely to discuss the proposed homes again before a formal planning application for the homes was submitted.

However he was keen to stress this did not necessarily mean there would be any changes to the proposals.

He said: “This land has been ready for development for many years and no one else has been able to get on and build there – we want work to start as soon as possible.”