Bid for 2,700-home new ‘garden village’ labelled ‘unwanted urban sprawl’
PUBLISHED: 05:30 15 July 2019
Villagers have lodged strong protests over a developer’s proposals for a 2,700-home ‘garden village’ – saying it will lead to the “unwanted urban sprawl” of Ipswich destroying precious countryside.
Seven parish councils and more than 100 residents have objected to the plans to build the homes, two new schools, sports pitches, shops, pub, play areas, medical centre, 42-acre community park, and other facilities on 350 acres of land between Nacton and Foxhall.
East Suffolk Council carried out a four-week consultation exercise on the project, seeking the public's views, and planning officers are assessing the plans in depth in preparation for councillors to make a decision.
The site identified by developers Gladman for the project, to be known as Orwell Green, is currently open farmland bordered by the A14 and A12 and stretches north from the Seven Hills interchange across Bucklesham Road to Purdis Road, and then west as far as Straight Road and Woodhouse Lane.
Levington and Stratton Hall Parish Council said it was unconvinced about the "self-sufficiency" of the development and believes a great deal of additional traffic will be generated off the housing estate and says proposed traffic measures are completely unsuitable.
The council said: "The enormous scale of this development is considered far too large for a countryside development. In fact, it would firstly destruct and secondly urbanise the countryside. The proposed massive housing estate would be of such a scale to completely dominate nearby existing villages.
"The parish council considers Orwell Green Garden Village is one additional huge development in this area which would contribute an unwanted urban sprawl from Ipswich."
Nacton Parish Council said: "There is no public transport into any of the major centres (Ipswich, Felixstowe or Woodbridge) and little possibility of any in the future. Bus services are being cut in local towns so anyone living on this development would have to use their car to go anywhere.
"The access onto the A12 would be used only by those people wishing to go to Martlesham, Felixstowe or Woodbridge. Anyone travelling into Ipswich will use Bucklesham Road, which is unsuitable for over 2,000 cars a day to use."
Brightwell Foxhall and Purdis Farm Group Parish Council said: "Local residents have expressed concern about how such a development will affect the quality of their lives and how the countryside will be transformed into an urban area with the associated traffic congestion and pollution.
"They are also concerned by the loss of agricultural land and the effect on local wildlife if the development is allowed to go ahead."
Bucklesham Parish Council said: "There is no evidence to suggest that the current healthcare and social care, ie hospitals, high schools, doctors etc, can absorb the population expansion that this proposal would generate."
The site is not earmarked by the council for housing in its Local Plan.
The authority, which has plans for 'garden villages' at Saxmundham and Felixstowe, currently has a five-year land supply for housing - mainly thanks to the agreement of plans for 2,000 homes at Adastral Park, known as Brightwell Lakes.
Helen Ball, on behalf of Gladman Developments Ltd, said: "We are delighted to have submitted a planning application for Orwell Green.
"The garden village will create a highly sustainable community, supported by the infrastructure it needs. We have been very grateful for the feedback we have received from local residents and from the council and hope to continue these positive relationships over the coming months as the application progresses."
Gladman says its proposals set out a vision to create a sustainable, integrated, inclusive and vibrant community, a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can find a home that meets their needs through the different stages of their lives.
The company says it remains committed to working in partnership with the council, surrounding local authorities and stakeholders to create a self-sufficient, distinctive and attractive residential-led mixed use new garden village.
It says the proposals aim to meet the future housing needs of the wider housing market area and enable residents to have a better opportunity to live in a location they love and call home, regardless if they are at the start of their housing journey, looking for a family home or simply for the opportunity to downsize but remain local.
The project would include:
● 2,700 homes - one third of them affordable housing;
● 23,800sq m Neighbourhood Centre featuring a variety of employment uses plus a market square, including retail, a medical centre/pharmacy, community hall/pavilion, nursery/crèche facility, and a pub;
● land set aside for two primary schools;
● parking and a café;
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● a village green (including a cricket pitch and bowling green);
● new sports pitches, clubhouse, changing facilities, parking, tennis courts;
● 70 apartments with care provision;
● community park;
● improvements to Felixstowe Road (including new pedestrian/cycle footways);
● two mini roundabouts along Bucklesham Road;
● community orchard, allotments, footpaths and cycling routes.
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