Ipswich roads 'cannot sustain traffic growth' from fringe housing developments, says council

Traffic on Grafton Way, Ipswich - people working from home will avoid the queues Picture: SARAH LUCY

Ipswich Borough Council says its roads cannot cope with more traffic from developments on the fringes without mitigation measures - Credit: Archant

Ipswich roads will not be able to cope with vast development on the fringes of the town without mitigation measures from neighbouring councils, it has been warned.

Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee on Wednesday agreed its response to the consultation of Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils' joint local plan, in which it highlighted concerns over road impacts, air quality and other infrastructure like health facilities and schools.

Data from the draft plan indicated that Babergh was planning just over 2,000 homes on the Ipswich Fringe up to 2037 - 21% of its planned housing growth, while Mid Suffolk anticipated just over 1,700, 14% of its development.

Those developments are likely to be concentrated around areas such as Sproughton, Bramford, Great Blakenham and Claydon.

But Ipswich Borough Council has said it is not acceptable for those developments to go ahead without commitments to improving infrastructure in Ipswich itself, which will be used by many of those homes.

The council's response said: "Much of the planned housing growth in the Ipswich Fringe area will have harmful impacts on highway capacity and air quality in Ipswich and this hasn’t been identified in the plan."

The authority has called on the two councils' plan to detail more measures on air quality, road traffic and demand for health and school services.

Councillor Sandra Gage said retail and hospitality businesses with affordable flats above would be a

Ipswich borough councillor Sandra Gage raised concerns over air quality and congestion from developments outside of town - Credit: Archant

Councillor Sandra Gage said bus cuts meant those villages around Ipswich were not as well served by public transport as they had been. She added: "The routes from those areas and the roads into our town cannot sustain that sort of traffic growth.

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"We already have over 50% of the car traffic in Ipswich that is nothing to do with Ipswich, so it is cars from out of town, and we must rebut any further development which would purely rely heavily on the occupants of these new developments on car traffic.

"It is not sustainable and our air quality cannot cope with it.

"I am really concerned that these district councils seem to be putting their major development basically tacking it on to the side of Ipswich so it is not in their rural areas and not in their backyard, because that is not acceptable."

According to Ipswich Borough Council data, 27% of traffic movements in the town are those from Babergh and Mid Suffolk, while just 45% is from Ipswich residents.

Councillor Phil Smart said new estates planned in those areas needed to be designed so that public transport routes could easily use them. That included designing loops for transport rather than cul-de-sacs.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk are collecting responses to its consultation until midday on Christmas Eve, before being sent to the Planning Inspectorate in the new year.

A spokeswoman from the two authorities said: "Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils will continue to work closely with out partners, including Ipswich Borough Council, and we look forward to considering their views following the end of our plan's consultation period."

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