Planning application for first phase of Northern Fringe development

Duncan Innes, Regional Development Director of Crest Nicholson at the Henley Gate exhibition at Ipsw

Duncan Innes, Regional Development Director of Crest Nicholson at the Henley Gate exhibition at Ipswich Sport Club talk to visitors.

A formal planning application for the first phase of development of the Northern Fringe – or Ipswich Garden Suburb – has been submitted by developers Crest Nicholson.

The outline application, which had been expected by the borough and local residents, is for 1,100 homes, a country park on the Westerfield side of the site, and new community facilities, shops and a primary school.

There is no timescale in the application – but during public consultation events earlier this year bosses from Crest Nicholson said they hoped to start infrastructure improvements next year with the first homes going up in 2018.

The site they are applying for, called Henley Gate, is the land between Henley Road, the East Suffolk rail line, and Westerfield.

Details of the proposals were outlined to local residents at a weekend exhibition at the Ipswich Sports Club where Crest Nicholson director Duncan Innes outlined the proposed work.

A document to accompany the planning application shows changes that it would need to see in the road network and also says the company is working with local bus operators to introduce new services to the area to ensure residents do not have to rely exclusively on their cars.

In March Mr Innes said it was hoped that planning permission would be granted by the end of this year, or by early next year at the latest, allowing work to start on the road improvements, drainage, and other infrastructure projects during 2017.

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The first homes could then be built from 2018.

The speed at which homes are built would depend on the strength of the housing market, and the planning application is expected to impose trigger points to ensure community facilities and the school is built once a certain number of homes have gone up.

The application is expected to receive opposition from groups concerned about the development of green spaces – and there are also specific concerns about drainage on part of the land and about the impact of more traffic on already-busy roads in north Ipswich.