Ipswich: Borough to build nearly 300 homes despite MP’s opposition
10:52 15 January 2014
Nearly 300 new council homes are set to be built in Ipswich over the next few years after another site was identified for a major new development.
However the latest proposal has not gone down well with one of the town’s Tory MPs, who feels council money would be better spent investing in community facilities.
The borough’s latest proposal is to build 74 homes on a parcel of land it owns off Bramford Road on the edge of town.
North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter said there were many developers and housing associations keen to build affordable homes and there was no need for the council to build new houses.
He said: “If the council has money available for capital projects it should look at developing community facilities – there is a desperate need for more community facilities in north west Ipswich and yet the borough says it cannot afford anything.
“I am all in favour of building more affordable homes. Elsewhere in my constituency, in Great Blakenham and other communities, they are being built by the private sector. There is no need for the council to get involved like this.”
The Bramford Road project would come after 107 council homes are built on Bader Close and about 100 homes are built between two other borough-owned sites at Ravenswood and Ulster Avenue.
Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said the borough was committed to a long-term programme of council house building to boost the amount of affordable homes available in the town.
Changes to the way the government allows authorities to use capital meant that the borough had about £5-£6million a year to spend on building new affordable homes.
Only a few homes had been completed during the current financial year, which meant this allocation would be put towards the Bader Close development – allowing that to be completed during the next financial year.
“Then we will be looking at Ravenswood where there is outline planning permission and Ulster Avenue.
“The Bramford Road proposal is still two or three years away – but this shows we have long term plans to boost the number of council houses,” he said.