School launches bid for development

A SCHOOL in Ipswich is today launching a daring bid to create a �15million sports park by selling off its playing fields for housing.

A SCHOOL in Ipswich is today launching a daring bid to create a �15million sports park by selling off its playing fields for housing.

Ipswich School is looking to secure planning permission on its land just north of Valley Road so it can offload it to a developer.

The money raised will then go towards funding new facilities about a mile further away from the school in Tuddenham Road.

The blueprint has been described as a unique opportunity to bring unrivalled sporting facilities to other schools and organisations in Ipswich.

But residents living near to the school's current playing fields today feared the housing development would be out of keeping with the area.

Karl Daniels, chairman of the school's governors, said: “We are excited to be proposing a new sports park, which will bring fantastic new facilities to Ipswich and Ipswich School and will help to meet the wider sports education aspirations of Ipswich.”

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The housing development would include around 300 new homes, a residential care village, a bowling green, a shop and community building.

Mary Burrell, of The Grove, just of Henley Road, said the plans to build three-storey homes might be out of place among the existing bungalows and detached houses.

She also said: “The problem will be traffic and where the new residents will send their children to school. I spoke to one lady who lives in a bungalow and she said it would have an impact.”

Malcolm Glencastle, also of The Grove, said: “On the surface the plans look quite good, but there are a lot of unknowns.”

Another resident in The Grove was also dismayed that pupils would have further to travel to play sport and added: “The logistics of bussing children to and from the playing fields is horrendous.”

The vision for the sports park includes a hall for badminton and basketball, outdoor pitches for rugby, football and cricket, a cricket pavilion, athletics track and an all-weather hockey pitch.

The school said it is keen to ensure the development fits in with its surroundings and is inviting the public to come to four exhibitions this month before submitting planning applications.

They will be held in the Lower Prep Hall at Ipswich School's Preparatory School in Anglesea Road on Friday, January 16 between 5pm and 8pm; Saturday, January 17 between 11am and 4pm; Friday, January 23, from 5pm to 8pm; and Saturday, January 24, from 11am to 4pm.

For more information, please call the planning team on 0800 085 4934 or e-mail: ipswichschoolsportspark@ipswichschool.co.uk.

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

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