See where 85 new homes could be built near River Orwell
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The site of a former fertiliser factory in Ipswich which has stood derelict for 30 years is set to be developed for homes – despite concerns over contaminated land, noise and lack of affordable homes.
The former Norsk Hydro site off Sandyhill Lane had been subject to more than a year of marketing to potential commercial and retail uses – including promotion as a potential supermarket site.
But Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee on Wednesday heard there had been no interest from firms, and instead agreed outline plans to build 85 homes.
Kathryn Oelman, representing the applicant Cheltenham Developments, said: “This application would offer an opportunity to clean up this site, bring it back into use and provide much needed homes in a sustainable location for the inhabitants of Ipswich.”
She added it “has the potential to make a difference to the council’s five year housing supply”, which it could not currently demonstrate.
The committee heard the land’s position adjacent to the busy port – which operates 24 hours a day – alongside nearby generators meant noise was a potential issue.
Odour concerns from the nearby Anglian Water sewage treatment plant were also raised as a potential problem.
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Tests carried out on soils on the site revealed around 25% of the land had been contaminated, with metals and sulphates detected alongside arsenic and lead in top soils.
Costs of around £3.5million to remedy the contamination have been voiced by developers.
Ms Oelman added no affordable homes would be included, as it would mean the area would not be viable for a developer.
Despite the concerns, the committee voted in favour of approving outline planning permission by nine votes to three.
Carole Jones said: “I welcome this application and I am happy that it’s a departure from the local plan that can be supported, and should it come forward will benefit Ipswich.”
Fellow councillor Colin Kriedewolf said it was important not to place any restrictions on the port’s activities in noise mitigation, as it was a major employer of economic significance to the town.