By Paul Geater
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A WAR of words has broken out between Ipswich council and one of its MPs over proposals to build thousands of new homes on the northern fringe of the town.
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Conservative MP Dr Dan Poulter said communities to the north of the town who would be affected by the development had not been given the chance to talk to the borough.
However the Labour council’s spokeswoman on planning and development Carole Jones insisted the borough had held meetings to which neighbouring parishes were invited.
The spat blew up as the county council’s cabinet prepares to discuss its response to the proposed new 3,500-home community to be built between Tuddenham Road and Henley Road on the edge of Ipswich over the next 15 years.
The cabinet is expected to support the principal of developing the northern fringe – but to express concern about the borough’s statistics about traffic and the impact of the large development on travel movements throughout the area.
Westerfield Parish Council chairman Peter Miller said the village remained very concerned about the impact on traffic – and about fears that rainwater could drain off the development and cause low-lying property in the village to flood.
“Some of our fears have been eased by the proposed layout of the development – but those two issues are still outstanding and have not been addressed.”
Dr Poulter said his constituents had contacted him to outline their concerns – and he had been very disappointed by the borough’s reaction.
He said: “There are major issues that the borough does not seem willing to address or even engage in discussions about.
“Flooding is a potentially major issue in Westerfield. I have seen how serious it can be in a comparatively small development in Daimler Road (in north Ipswich) so in Westerfield it could be very serious.
“And there is no indication of how traffic would be eased for the communities to the north of the town.”
However Ms Jones insisted there was a regular dialogue: “We are talking to a number of groups over a wide variety of issues – it is not right to say that we are ignoring concerns.
“We are talking to Anglian Water about easing flooding concerns – but we have to remember that people need homes and need new houses. That is what we are talking about here.”
The consultation period for the borough’s northern fringe proposals runs until tomorrow and the masterplan for the scheme should be approved later this year.