Town set for rapid growth

IPSWICH'S population is set to grow by more than 36,000 over the next 16 years – and that's just in the town itself.When further new homes on the outskirts of the town are considered the population of "greater Ipswich" is set to grow to almost 200,000.

IPSWICH'S population is set to grow by more than 36,000 over the next 16 years - and that's just in the town itself.

When further new homes on the outskirts of the town are considered the population of "greater Ipswich" is set to grow to almost 200,000.

That is according to figures from East of England Plan which has been drawn up by planning experts from across the region.

It says that by 2016 there should be 15,800 new homes within the borough of Ipswich.

Many of these new homes will be built along the Orwell/Gipping corridor, including in the waterfront area and on other "brownfield sites" such as that currently occupied by Compair Reavell.

According to government statistics, an average of 2.3 people live in each home - which would mean the population of the borough itself would go up to more than 150,000.

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One qualification to this statistic is that many of the new homes being built now are one and two-bedroomed flats which will not be so popular with families so the average number of people per home may fall - if not dramatically.

According to current population statistics a further 20,000 people live just outside the borough boundary but essentially in "greater Ipswich" in communities like Pinewood, Rushmere, Kesgrave, Martlesham Heath, Bramford, Claydon, Blakenham, and Barham.

These are also set to expand considerably over the next 16 years - with population growth in Suffolk Coastal, Mid Suffolk, and Babergh councils' areas set to be concentrated around Ipswich.

This is set to push the population of "greater Ipswich," within the A14/A12 box pushed up to the 200,000 mark.

One area which could still provoke further controversy is the northern fringe of the town.

At present this area, between Westerfield Road and Henley Road, is not under immediate pressure for development.

However it is being held "in reserve" in case the town needs more development land towards 2021.

If that happens it would certainly re-ignite the controversy which has been simmering since proposals to develop on this site were first suggested five years ago.

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