More homes for Ipswich and Felixstowe

FELIXSTOWE and Ipswich's eastern fringe are likely to see the main brunt of the major housing development in the years ahead, it was revealed today.Although planners are still awaiting final figures on the number of houses that will be needed in the next 15 years, Suffolk Coastal expects to have to allocate land for around 2,000 new homes.

FELIXSTOWE and Ipswich's eastern fringe are likely to see the main brunt of the major housing development in the years ahead, it was revealed today.

Although planners are still awaiting final figures on the number of houses that will be needed in the next 15 years, Suffolk Coastal expects to have to allocate land for around 2,000 new homes.

And officers are warning that this will mean councillors will have to look seriously at the vision submitted by landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, to develop the historic twin Trimley villages into a "new town".

They have also received proposals from another landowner in Trimley to use sites, and from another consortium and Felixstowe Town Council to build on the fields on the resort's northern edge or Gulpher area.


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Villagers in Trimley are already incensed by Trinity College's proposals and more than 145 protests have been sent in.

District council planners say the draft regional proposals for housing suggest that 10,000 new homes will have to be built in Suffolk Coastal by 2021 – one-third of them on the edge of Ipswich in Kesgrave, Martlesham and Rushmere.

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New sites have been found for all bar 2,000 of the total needed, and around 1,000 of these are likely to be in a massive new settlement at Felixstowe or Trimley.

A council spokesman said further work was being done on the draft regional planning guidance produced by the East of England Regional Assembly. The document is expected to be completed with a view to public consultation in the autumn.

"The guidance indicates the number of houses needed in the district at 2021," he said.

"In terms of general location it indicates that the 'edge of Ipswich' should be one recipient as part of the overall strategy of locating major housing growth in the county town.

"It also suggests housing development to serve Felixstowe, to take place complementary to the expansion of Felixstowe as a port and employment centre."

The council's replacement local plan task group meets on Monday and a report to be put before councillors says that if greenfield sites are not allocated at Felixstowe, it could harm the development of the town.

There is a "significant need" for affordable housing, the town has had very little development recently, and more homes will be needed to match the growth in jobs expected at the port and Blofield Estate business park.

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

factfile:

n Draft regional housing targets suggest 10,100 more homes will be needed in Suffolk Coastal by 2021 – nearly 600 a year.

n Planning officers say 3,320 of these will be built on the edge of Ipswich – Kesgrave, Martlesham, Purdis Farm and Rushmere St Andrew.

n They calculate that exist planning consents, windfall sites (such as infill and unexpected plots in towns and villages), and brownfield development will account for all except 2,000 of the total needed.

n The Ipswich fringe has seen huge development in recent years. When completed Warren Heath will have 620 homes, Bixley Farm 1.050, and Grange Farm, Kesgrave, 3,150.

n Suffolk Coastal has received nearly 100 requests for parcels of land across the district to be developed for housing from landowners and councils.

n The new local plan will identify which of these are acceptable but the draft will not be ready until early next year and there will be a public inquiry in late summer/autumn 2005.

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