Could work on Ipswich northern fringe homes begin this year?

Land for the Northern Fringe Development on Henley Road. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Land for the Northern Fringe Development on Henley Road. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Work on one of Ipswich’s largest housing developments is expected to start by the end of the year, sources have indicated.

Norther Fringe map

Norther Fringe map - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Borough Council’s planning committee in April backed plans for nearly 2,000 homes on the town’s northern fringe, agreeing to let senior planning officers grant outline permission in the autumn once various legal and funding agreements had been sorted.

It is understood that discussions are progressing well, and work could start by the end of the year.

A spokesman from Ipswich Borough Council said: “Positive discussions are continuing and we are looking forward to developers bringing detailed plans forward as soon as they are able to.”

The entire northern fringe site, set to be known as Ipswich Garden Suburb, will contain around 3,500 homes, making it one of the biggest developments in Ipswich.

The April planning committee discussed plans for 815 properties to be developed by Mersea Homes and 1,100 by crest Nicholson.

Section 106 agreements – cash put in by developers for vital infrastructure such as road improvements, schools and GP surgeries – totalled £14.7million for the Crest Nicholson development and £9.9m for the Mersea Homes portion.

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Crest Nicholson’s will include a vehicle bridge and pedestrian bridge over the railway line, country park and primary school.

The borough council put in a bid for cash from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, with a sum of £9.868m having been approved.

It is hoped that the scheme will help boost house-building in the area, after figures published by the borough council in July revealed that just 121 homes of a target 677 had been completed in the 2017/28 financial year – fewer than one in five.

Planning bosses put the number down to delays on big sites such as the Tooks Bakery site.

It is not yet clear when work on the 60 homes and GP surgery for that site may begin.

In January the borough council said it aimed to have 200 affordable homes built this year, with upwards of 20 schemes planned across the year.

The Garden Suburb scheme has been a long running issue, with the first attempts for development there in the late 1980s.

Mersea Homes and Crest Nicholson have been approached for comment but were unavailable at the time of going to press.