Ipswich: Northern fringe “not good enough” for town as Tories ask for changes to plan

Ben Gummer on the site of the northern fringe

Ben Gummer on the site of the northern fringe - Credit: Archant

The proposed Ipswich Garden Suburb masterplan is “not good enough” for the town according to the Tory opposition on the borough council.

The masterplan is set to be debated at the borough’s full council meeting on September 17, but official representations had to be submitted by the end of last week to allow the agenda to be drawn up. The Conservative opposition has worked with MP Ben Gummer to produce a five-page document calling for changes to the masterplan to ensure it is good enough for the town – and will not add too much to traffic chaos.

Mr Gummer said: “The masterplan as it currently exists simply is not good enough for the town. This will be a major development and we have to get it right. It needs to be exceptional, and the borough is simply not ambitious enough.”

Conservative group leader Nadia Cenci said: “I think we all accept that this development is going to happen – but it needs to be really fantastic and this masterplan does not do that. It needs to be improved significantly before it comes up for approval on September 17.”

And local people felt they had been ignored as the council and its consultants David Lock Associates had drawn up the plan.

She said: “Having repeatedly ignored concerns raised by residents, Conservative councillors and our MP, Ben Gummer, Labour gave us less than a week to put together our comments and serious concerns about their failing SPD (supplementary planning document).

“This document covers our most serious concerns, about a lack of planning for infrastructure, about a lack of quality, and about transport. Residents are resigned to having housing here, but they want to ensure the houses are of the highest quality.

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“We hope that at this late hour they will finally listen to residents and the Conservatives, reflecting our concerns in the proposals going to Full Council next month.”

The meeting will be held at the Council Chamber in the Town Hall at 6pm on September 17.