Village to fight for independence

IPSWICH'S nearest neighbour is gearing itself up to fight plans for 1,000 new homes on the town's northern fringe Westerfield is anxious to ensure that any development does not impact on the village.

IPSWICH'S nearest neighbour is gearing itself up to fight plans for 1,000 new homes on the town's northern fringe

Westerfield is anxious to ensure that any development does not impact on the village.

The borough council this week published a draft planning guidance for the project, which would include shops, a primary school, and health facilities.

Ipswich has issued the planning brief to head off different applications by developers on parcels of the land, which is bounded by Henley Road, Westerfield Road, Valley Road and the Ipswich to Woodbridge railway line.

Peter Miller, chairman of Westerfield parish council, said: “We view this development brief with concern. At an earlier consultation, we were given quite strong assurances that no development would be started before 2021.

“It now looks as if building will be much earlier than that.”

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Mr Miller said: “Westerfield does not want to stand in the way of progress but we need to ensure that any detrimental effects of the development are mitigated.”

Ipswich has been designated one of the growth points which the East of England Regional Assembly and the government's Department of the Communities say is necessary to meet the 508,000 new homes target seen as necessary to cope with future demand

Ipswich council's portfolio holder for economic development Richard Atkins has revealed that in addition to an application by Ipswich School to build homes on its playing fields which are part of the site, Mersea Homes had lodged plans for the adjoining plot.

Admitting that the Northern Fringe development will be controversial, Mr Atkins said: “If we don't adopt a plan, we could end up being told to build far more homes than we want. By approving and publishing a strategy for the borough, our defences will be in place to ward off unwanted development.”

Other sites in Ipswich which are expected to take some of the homes are an extension of the IP1 development on the Waterfront and land currently occupied by the golf course at St Clement's Hospital.

A new transport scheme to limit traffic on the northern quays of the Waterfront and the use of the former Cranes site in Nacton Road for “strategic employment” are also included in the strategy.

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