New front in battle over northern fringe

Campaigners are gearing up to torpedo plans for more than 1,000 homes on part of the last green fields in the borough.Although the application by Mersea Homes to develop an area of the northern fringe of the town was rejected by the borough council, the company has lodged an appeal with the Government and objectors have until January 7 to register their opposition.

IPSWICH: Campaigners are gearing up to torpedo plans for more than 1,000 homes on part of the last green fields in the borough.

Although the application by Mersea Homes to develop an area of the northern fringe of the town was rejected by the borough council, the company has lodged an appeal with the Government and objectors have until January 7 to register their opposition.

A full public inquiry will be held later in the year, but as the application has been called in by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government John Denham, he or his successor will make the final decision.

The inquiry will go ahead at the same time as a planning inspector is holding public hearings into Ipswich's local development framework plans, which could see a new town of 5,600 homes, shops, a school, and medical centre built on the whole of the northern fringe by 2031.


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Residents in the Henley Road and Westerfield Road areas are being urged to send their objections to the Bristol-based Planning Inspectorate.

John Ames, secretary of the Northern Fringe Protection Group, wants no development to take place on the land, and certainly nothing should happen before the decision on the borough's local development framework.

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“We would rather it was left as green fields,” said Mr Ames. “But if it has to be redeveloped, then this piecemeal building is out of order.”

He added that future development should only occur as part of a strategic masterplan. “Piecemeal development of the northern fringe would lead to inefficient use of the whole area and also the developer may avoid contributing to the cost of future major infrastructure.”

He questioned whether Westerfield Road, its junction with Valley Road, and other roads in northern Ipswich could cope with thousands of extra traffic movements a day.

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