Questions raised over mix of new homes planned for Ravenswood estate
PUBLISHED: 16:30 21 October 2020 | UPDATED: 18:28 21 October 2020
There are concerns over traffic impact and ‘mixed tenure issues’ if nearly 100 new homes – most of which will be added to council housing stock – are built on Ipswich’s Ravenswood estate.
Neighbours have raised concerns about increased vehicles caused by the development, as well as the mix of the type of homes.
Handford Homes, the development arm of Ipswich Borough Council, plans to build 96 off Downham Boulevard.
Of those new homes 67 will be affordable rents, 19 will be rented out by Handford Lettings for market rents and 10 will be offered for sale as starter homes – possibly to people in what are considered to be essential jobs.
However, Bryan Patterson, chairman of the Ravenswood Residents’ Association, said: “Generally speaking, both mixed tenure issues and transport are the two biggest issues with this development.
“Most residents take the view that the 65% private homes and 35% affordable which has been adhered to in Ravenswood has worked really well.
“Why change something that has been key to the success of the development?
“We aren’t against new homes, but we want to see the mixed tenure.”
A proposal to build 94 council homes on the site was rejected by the government in 2014 because it was seen to be in contravention of the local plan which said the area should be for mixed development – but officials are convinced the new bid will be acceptable.
Mr Patterson added: “There are also concerns about the increase of traffic at peak times getting into and out of Ravenswood.
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“They say that the roads will be fine with their projections, but they date back 20 years and there are more cars on the roads now.”
A Handford Homes Spokesperson said: “This area is allocated for Housing in the Local Plan and this is also part of the original masterplan for the Ravenswood development.
“We recognise and sympathise with those experiencing traffic delays at peak times.
“We understand that the road system in Ravenswood was designed to handle traffic from all the development areas, including that which we are proposing to develop via this application.
“It will be for Suffolk County Council’s Highways Department to determine traffic issues for Ravenswood and we will do what we can to support residents in campaigning for any necessary improvements to traffic flows that will also make it easier for those moving into our new homes in due course.
“Ipswich needs additional housing and this site has long been allocated for such development.
“Handford Homes’ subsidiary Handford Lettings will be used to let out the market-rent properties here. It is expected that Handford Lettings will apply a key worker criterion to its lettings on this site.”
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