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Ipswich: Your chance to see plans for Garden Suburb development

PUBLISHED: 07:04 16 April 2014

Rod Brooks on the Northern Fringe in Henley Road, Ipswich

Rod Brooks on the Northern Fringe in Henley Road, Ipswich

The exhibition and consultation about proposals to build 900 new homes as the first phase of the northern fringe development is expected to attract hundreds of visitors to the Ipswich Sports Club in Henley Road next week.

The two-day exhibition is on Friday and Saturday, 25 and 26 of April, from 10am on both days.

On Friday the exhibition is open until 6.30pm, and on Saturday it will run until 3pm.

Developer Mersea Homes is hoping to submit a “hybrid” planning application to the borough council by June. This would be an outline application to build 900 new homes and a local centre – including shops, community facilities, and a primary school – and a detailed planning application for the first 80 homes to be built on land between Westerfield and Henley Roads.

However there is growing concern that the application – the first phase of a development that has now been named “Ipswich Garden Suburb” and could eventually have up to 3,500 homes – is coming forward prematurely.

The masterplan for the development is not expected to be approved by the borough until the middle of next year – although senior councillors say that the existence of a draft plan does provide a framework against which an application could be judged.

Simon Hoare, who represents Mersea Homes, said: “The purpose of the exhibition is to bring the local community and stakeholder groups up to speed with the development proposal, to answer questions and provide the opportunity for attendees to comment on the plans.”

Members of the Northern Fringe Protection Group and Save Our Country Spaces are expected to attend the exhibition to take up the opportunity to discuss their concerns with representatives of Mersea Homes and borough planning officials.

The company hopes that application could be debated by the borough’s planning and development committee in September or October.

If approved that could allow the first work to start before the end of 2014 – although it could take eight to nine years to complete the first phase.

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