Revealed - Outcome of Martlesham police HQ 250 homes consultation
PUBLISHED: 05:30 11 October 2018
Major plans to sell Suffolk police's HQ and build hundreds of homes on the site are ramping up - with early blueprints due to be unveiled by the end of 2018.
People were urged to have their say on proposals to sell the Martlesham Heath site for a development of 250 homes during a public consultation this summer.
News of the potential sale came as part of cost-cutting measures investigated by the PCC – and if it goes through, the bid would see police services moved elsewhere in Ipswich.
Now, having collected feedback, Mr Passmore has confirmed public views will be incorporated into developing an outline planning application.
“We are very grateful to everyone who came along to the exhibition and to all those who took the time to feedback to us on the draft plans,” he said.
“I’m really pleased so many people took part in the consultation.
“We’ve had a lot to think about and the plans are still evolving.
“We’ve put together a leaflet to provide an update and address some of the key points raised by local residents and staff.”
Mr Passmore added: “We will continue to keep people updated and we hope to submit an outline planning application by the end of the year.”
If the application is submitted on time, it will be open to further consultation as part of Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planning process.
That means plans could go before committee members in mid 2019.
If approved, a full financial assessment will take place and a decision made sometime next year on whether to sell the site for development.
This latest step comes less than a week after Mr Passmore told Suffolk’s Police and Crime Panel further savings are likely to be needed in the force next year.
It is understood Landmark House – where some police services are currently based – would be able to house some of the force’s other activities.
But a plan of where all services could be relocated is not yet clear.
Even if planning permission was agreed there was “no guarantee the constabulary would relocate”, a report into the case added.
A green light on the sale would be dependent on proving the best value for money. Plans for 2,000 homes have already been approved for land near Martlesham’s Adastral Park.
By far the most comments during the consultation were around traffic and access to the site – with more than 150 remarks about traffic issues alone.
The leaflet produced by the PCC’s office said there were around 1,600 traffic movements to and from the site via Portal Avenue between 7am and 10pm each day, and traffic assessments suggested this would still be between 1,500 and 1,800 if 250 homes were to be built and the police investigation centre remain.
Elsewhere, capacity of schools and healthcare services was also raised, and a financial contribution from developers would be sought to help fund additional places.
The report compiling feedback said housing was considered the most viable use for the site, as it was within the Eastern Ipswich Plan Area and would not jeopardise the nearby retail and commercial activity.
Alternative habitats for wildlife will also need to be considered, the report said.