Ipswich: Northern fringe work could get underway within 18 months

Ipswich Garden Suburb artists impression

Ipswich Garden Suburb artists impression - Credit: Archant

A masterplan for the development of the Ipswich Northern Fringe between Tuddenham Road and Henley Road could be approved by the end of next year.

And that would enable developers to put in detailed planning applications for the first homes on the huge site.

The Northern Fringe is seen as the major development for Ipswich over the next 18 years with up to 3,500 homes to be built there.

The first 1,500 homes could be completed as early as 2021.

The public is to be invited to comment on the draft masterplan for the site between the middle of January and the end of February next year.

Comments will then be considered by planning officials and councillors and the final masterplan will be debated by the full council during the second half of 2014 – if adopted it will then become council policy.

Ipswich councillor with responsibility for planning Carole Jones said the masterplan did not contain details of the type of homes to be built – it was an overview of a large site showing major infrastructure proposals.

She said: “This is the only area in the town that we can have large scale development like this – we want it to provide high-class homes for people in Ipswich.”

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A wide range of people, including groups that have been set up to oppose the development of the Northern Fringe, had been consulted during the preparation of the draft masterplan.

The town’s MP Ben Gummer said the council should be praised for continuing to work on the proposals despite considerable local opposition.

But he could not support the proposals because they lacked ambition – and needed major changes if the area was to be “developed in the way the town deserves.”

He said the infrastructure proposals were inadequate: “The borough and county councils as well as the developers need to come up with something far better than this – the access and the traffic plans are not good enough.”

And he feared the new homes would lack ambition: “This could be a real showpiece for Ipswich, but I fear there is a lack of ambition here.”

Rod Brooks from the Northern Fringe Protection group said there were still legal issues that needed to be resolved which could delay the adoption of the masterplan.

He added: “We would rather the Northern Fringe is not developed, but we accept it is going to happen and we want to ensure it is as good as possible.”

He said transport infrastructure remained a major concern because many residents of the northern fringe would need to use cars to get to work.

“There has been a growth in homes in Ipswich but there is no great increase in the number of jobs in the centre of town, so catching a bus will not be an option for many residents.

“The county’s idea seems to be when there is congestion hold cars at red lights – but how people trying to get to work will feel about waiting at the lights while a succession of buses to the town centre go past, I don’t know.”