New homes could become town's 'slums'

New housing developments in Ipswich could become the slums of the future, it has been claimed.

IPSWICH: New housing developments in Ipswich could become the slums of the future, it has been claimed.

That was the blunt warning from Labour councillor Carole Jones as the borough considered whether to give the go-ahead to a proposal for 203 new homes on the site of Hayhill Allotments.

The Labour opposition on the planning and development committee is concerned about several aspects of the application from developers Crest Nicholson.

A total of 66 affordable homes - being built for shared ownership or rent - are proposed for the development.

But while 100 of the 137 of the homes for sale will be houses, 56 of the affordable homes will be flats - and most will be built in two blocks at one side of the development.

“This looks like a ghetto to me,” said Ms Jones during a heated debate.

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Conservative councillor Russell Harsant said he objected to the word ghetto.

“All right, I'll withdraw that if you like - I'll call it a compound…or a slum,” Ms Jones added.

Her Labour colleague Sandy Martin was concerned that one block of affordable flats would be built just five metres from the rail line to Felixstowe.

And Bill Quinton said the town was crying out for affordable family houses - not more two-bed flats.

“The affordable homes should be scattered through the development - like they are at Ravenswood,” he said.

However Conservative councillor Judy Terry urged the opposition to “get real”.

She said: “This is a better application than the one we approved before on that site (which was for 252 homes) and it is much cheaper for a management company to have affordable homes built together.

“The affordable homes meet the requirements of the council's housing experts and this looks like a very good proposal for Ipswich.” The new homes were approved after the Conservative and Liberal Democrat members of the committee all voted in favour.