Ipswich: More council homes to be built in the town

David Ellesmere (centre) with John Mowles and fellow councillor Bill Quinton at Bader Close.

David Ellesmere (centre) with John Mowles and fellow councillor Bill Quinton at Bader Close. - Credit: Archant

As bosses at Ipswich council prepare to build their largest new housing development for half a century, they are planning another two major schemes.

Work is due to start in the spring on 108 new council homes in Bader Close, in the Priory Heath area of the town.

Now the borough is drawing up plans to build a further 107 homes – 30 on land behind the Ulster Avenue shops in Whitehouse and 77 on land owned by the borough on the Ravenswood development.

Work on these homes is not likely to start until the end of this year or early 2015 because planning permission still has to be obtained.

Council leader David Ellesmere said the new homes were vital for Ipswich: “This shows our commitment to the long term development of more affordable homes across the town.

“We are about to start on the biggest single council housing project for 50 years, and we have just completed our first new build council houses in the town for 20 years.”

He said there remained a need for more affordable family homes across the town, and the borough was now in a position to be able to build high-quality properties.

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The proposal for the new homes for Ulster Avenue and Ravenswood will be discussed by the borough’s executive later this month – but it is not likely to encounter any opposition at that committee.

Opposition housing spokeswoman Judy Terry was concerned about how the council would fund the new homes – and also about the lack of any overall plan to build new homes across the town.

She said: “There is no overall detailed plan for new homes across the town – what is needed is more smaller homes because people over the age of 55 are looking to downsize.

“I am also worried about how the new homes will be funded – I know the government has allowed councils to build more homes, but is that the best way of building homes? I know developers are looking for more sites in Ipswich and would build homes that people want to live in.”