Public asked for development views

PEOPLE in Ipswich are today being asked about their views on the future development of the town as part of a major consultation exercise.Residents are being given the chance to put forward their opinions on Ipswich Borough Council's "preferred options" for the local development framework - which plans for the town's future.

PEOPLE in Ipswich are today being asked about their views on the future development of the town as part of a major consultation exercise.

Residents are being given the chance to put forward their opinions on Ipswich Borough Council's "preferred options" for the local development framework - which plans for the town's future.

It sets out what the town chiefs believe Ipswich needs to further prosper and includes the creation of a “green ring” around the town and a multi-million pound wet dock crossing for the Waterfront.

The council has already consulted on the plans but a further period of consultation runs until February 25.

Councillor Richard Atkins, responsible for economic development at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “The 'preferred options' process is both complex and important.

“In essence, it maps out the future direction that Ipswich will take.

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“We have tried to meet people's needs and expectations and have made environmental issues a big priority.

“We are pleased that there was such a big public response when we were setting out on this project and we ask that local people and businesses will again get involved.

“This is your town; it is your future."

The council says most comments from the public received so far concerned the possible development of the “northern fringe” of Ipswich and the issue of whether or not the town needs an East Bank link road.

In the "Preferred Options" policy, the council says that there in no need to build on the northern fringe to meet government's housing targets for the period to 2021 but that some of the northern fringe should be shown as a possible area for future development beyond that date.

The Council has also decided not to include plans for an East Bank link road in the policy, believing public money would not be forthcoming, that a new A14 junction would not be permitted and that private finance would mean more out of town retail space, with an impact on the town centre.

However, they have not ruled out long-term potential for a link if the Highways Agency position changes, if funding sources are available and the environmental consequences are considered to be acceptable.

What do you think of the plans? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk