Where do you think homes should be built in Ipswich?
PUBLISHED: 12:24 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:24 09 January 2020
A blueprint for future housing in Ipswich is to go before the public one last time later this month, before finally being submitted for adoption.
Ipswich Borough Council's full council meeting on Wednesday approved the final stage of public consultation on the local plan to run for six weeks from January 15.
Once completed, the plan - which effectively outlines future housing sites until 2036 - will go to the Planning Inspector who will assess and approve it.
Labour's planning portfolio holder Carole Jones said only minor changes had been made since it was last seen by the council's executive in November, with the only significant change being that greater flexibility of use for buildings on the fringes of the town centre for use beyond just retail are included.
Both the Conservative and Liberal Democrats at the council have backed the documents.
The final draft, published in October, significantly featured changes to the future of Suffolk Retail Park.
Originally it had been earmarked as land for 90 homes, after the withdrawal of Dunelm and Brantano in 2018 prompted fears for its future as a retail park.
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But that was removed in the final draft of the plan because the arrival of Home Bargains and Food Warehouse alongside the existing Argos, Halfords, Next and The Range stores had helped secure its future.
In October, Ms Jones said: "It's a really good site, and we removed it from the final draft because it is successful as a retail site again, and they are developing it, expanding it.
"It's really nice to have good retail news at a time when every town is a changing landscape, and we really welcome the investment by the owners because that's really important."
The final draft of the plan also included 547 fewer homes than previously planned, with several key sites being removed.
Those included 148 homes for Cliff Lane, Toller Road and Holywells Road; 337 homes in Helena Road/Patteson Way and 104 homes earmarked for the former BT offices in Bibb Way.
Inga Lockington, Liberal Democrat councillor said: "It's important that residents and businesses understand that if they want to have their say this is now the time they have got to give their submission so it has a chance to go in front of the inspector.
"Hopefully we will soon have an adopted local plan so that we have a way of looking at housing and transport as a whole."