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Mixed views on development scheme

PUBLISHED: 14:15 24 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 March 2010

ABANDONED cars and car fires could be a thing of the past for residents of an Ipswich estate if a former social housing site is redeveloped.

By JESSICA NICHOLLS

Jessica.nicholls@ecng.co.uk

ABANDONED cars and car fires could be a thing of the past for residents of an Ipswich estate if a former social housing site is redeveloped.

But plans to build bungalows and houses on Catchpole's Way have met with a mixed reaction from nearby residents.

Residents living in Morland Road, opposite Catchpole's Way on the Greenwich estate said that although the new development would be better than what they had been used to, they would prefer that the ground was left as open space.

Catchpole's Way had previously been a complex of portable buildings used to house single-parent families.

People living in the area said they sometimes experienced trouble with the residents of the social housing and were pleased that they were no longer there and that the cabins had been demolished.

But now an application has been made to build 12 bungalows, some with wheelchair access, and six two-storey houses with between four and six bedrooms. There would also be garages and parking facilities.

If the plans are approved the bungalows look set to be built on levelled off land further towards the allotments but the houses are to be built on land that slopes away, obscuring many residents' views of the Suffolk countryside.

One resident who did not want to be named said: "Every time anyone looks out of their window they will just see these huge houses.

"We can see the river from here and if it was just bungalows it would be alright.

"But no one can explain to me why they have to put houses in the middle of them."

The resident added that she would like to see the area turned into a play area for the many children who live round there.

Other suggestions from residents included a nature reserve or just a row of bungalows.

The area, which is owned by Ipswich Borough Council, is not allocated for housing in the Local Plan but has been in use for residential purposes for the last ten years.

It is considered to be a brownfield site but the Stour and Orwell Estuary special protection area and the Orwell Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest are nearby, although reports from English Nature suggest the development will have little impact.

Other residents agreed that they would like to see the land left as open space.

Mandy Chapman said: "It was not very pleasant before. I would prefer that it was just left natural but if there must be anything there I would rather we have something like that."

But one resident was totally in favour of the new development.

Michael McKenzie said: "There used to be a lot of abandoned cars left in the garages and if they were there for too long they would get set on fire. People kept camping out on the site as well.

"The new houses mean the place will be more active and there will be more people around.

"I went to the meeting and it looks really nice and I am really looking forward to it."

The application is due to be discussed by the Borough Council development control committee tomorrow.

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