Mayor joins calls for referendum

IPSWICH mayor David Goldsmith and five other Conservative councillors are calling for a borough-wide referendum on future growth and housing development

IPSWICH mayor David Goldsmith and five other Conservative councillors are calling for a borough-wide referendum on future growth and housing development

They especially want to give voters a say on controversial plans for nearly 6,000 homes on the northern fringe.

Their demand follows this week's meeting of the council's ruling executive and its endorsement of the Ipswich Local Development Framework, which sets out planning and housing priorities until 2031.

The six who represent the northern wards of Castle Hill and Whitton, said: “We believe that the overall impact on service, both positive and negative, of such a major expansion would have a significant effect on those who live in Ipswich and surrounding areas.”


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However, the councillors -Steven Wells, Michelle Bevan-Margetts, Mary Young, Robin Vickery, Don Ward and the Mayor David Goldsmith - have had to issue a carefully crafted statement.

The wanted to avoid being caught by the “predetermination” rule that prevented two Ipswich councillors from being able to vote on Strategic Health Authority plans to remove major cardiac surgery from Ipswich Hospital.

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“Surely it is more important to establish the true need and want of the people that Ipswich borough council represents rather than simply agreeing with Labour government targets just for the sake of targets,” they argue.

The ruling Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition in charge of the council has drawn up the development framework in response to the Government's demand that Ipswich becomes a growth point in the region and that 20,000 new homes are built in the area, with 15,400 within the borough boundary by 2031.

The six counties of the East of England must find land for 508,000 homes to be built within the same period.

The decision on the draft framework for Ipswich will be considered at a full meeting of the borough council on September 9.

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