Thousands of new homes could be built in town

IPSWICH'S housing need in the next decade could be met entirely from the controversial green fields development on the northern fringe.

IPSWICH'S housing need in the next decade could be met entirely from the controversial green fields development on the northern fringe.

Councillors meet next week to consider the draft local development framework, which identifies how 5,896 homes can be accommodated on farm land north of Valley Road.

The Government has designated Ipswich as one of the major growth points in the East of England and is demanding that in the 20 year period up to 2021, the borough will have overseen the construction of 15,400 homes.

More than 6,000 have already been built, and another 4,000 have received planning permission, leaving the council short of its target by 5,400.

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But although planners estimate that eight separate plots on the northern fringe, between Henley and Westerfield Roads and also surrounding Thurleston Lane could accommodate the whole of the borough's needs, the councillor in charge of piloting the development framework has assured residents in the area that other sites will bear some of the load.

Richard Atkins says that previously developed land, known as brown field sites, could take 4,515 properties. “Ipswich has a good record when it comes to redeveloping land - 98per cent of all new homes have gone on brown fields.

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“However, we have to recognise that people in Ipswich want family homes rather than flats and that means we do have to plan for new estates because infill sites are not suitable for this type of property.”

Among the brownfield areas which have been identified as able to take new homes are St Clement's hospital grounds in Foxhall Road (350 properties), the island site on the waterfront (331 properties), the waste tip north of Sir Alf Ramsey Way (173), Elton Park industrial estate (130), and Holywells Road West and Toller Road (113).

The council meets on Wednesday at 6pm to discuss and approve the development framework, which also features the council's vision of how Ipswich should be shaped in the next 20 years, including new roads, transport links, and shopping developments.

The document will then go out to consultation, which will include two public meetings in November with one specifically focusing on the northern fringe. The core strategy will have to be submitted to the Government, which will appoint an independent inspector to listen to objections and make possible amendments.

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