Consultation over - but what happens next in Ipswich northern bypass saga?
PUBLISHED: 16:30 16 September 2019
The consultation period over a possible route for an Ipswich northern bypass finished at the end of last week - but it is likely to be next year before councils start to consider their next steps in the controversial saga.
The consultation gave people the opportunity to say which of three possible routes they would like to see built - and also gave them the opportunity to say whether or not they approved of the principle of building the new road.
It sparked a furious debate with residents of villages to the north of Ipswich linking up with environmental campaigners to form the Stop the Northern Bypass campaign which brought more than 400 people on to the street in Ipswich on Friday.
Local MPs Dr Dan Poulter and Dr Therese Coffey have also opposed any new road to the north of Ipswich.
Meanwhile residents and politicians from Ipswich have backed the plans for a new road - and they have also got the backing of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.
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Most support has come for the inner route of the new road, running from Martlesham to Claydon to the south of Bealings, but the Chamber favours the middle route running from Claydon to Woodbridge to the north of Bealings.
The consultation was organised by the Suffolk public sector leaders' group comprised of council leaders and PCC Tim Passmore.
However it is expected that the responses will take several months to analyse - and many officials do not expected the next steps in any moves to build a new road to be taken before the end of the year.
A spokesman for the leaders' group said: "The consultation for the Ipswich Northern Route has closed. The results of the consultation will now be analysed and included within the final Strategic Online Business Case Report, which will be published in due course.
"Decisions about the next steps will be made by all the councils of Suffolk following consideration of that report."
Nick Deacon from the Stop protest group said it was raising funds to help finance a judicial review if necessary in future: "We are also talking to people about the impact of blight on their homes if there is no decision on this proposal within a reasonable period of time."