Ipswich: Land to be sold for housing in bid to upgrade Trinity Park

ORGANISERS of the Suffolk Show are hoping to create one of the premier showgrounds in the country by selling off land near Trinity Park for housing development.

Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) is preparing to submit plans to develop an 18-acre plot to the west of the 300-acre site, which is on the outskirts of Ipswich. It is thought it could accommodate between 150 and 200 homes.

“We are applying for planning consent because we believe the timing for that is right,” said chairman Stephen Fletcher. “We have already done some local consultation and we’ll continue to do that.”

The SAA created a “masterplan” following studies and work with senior stewards and has been buying land to the east and north of the site.

The SAA’s executive director, Christopher Bushby, said the association has had a policy of buying land to the east and north and had previously sold land to the west, which they were able to invest back into Trinity Park.

“In the last decade, we have invested over �5million,” he said. “In 2006, we bought �1m worth of land which at the moment we do not use for the Suffolk Show.”

If the housing proposals get the go-ahead and if the association decides to proceed with the project, it will move the showground eastwards, creating a new Grand Ring. Currently around 50-60 acres of land are not used for the show.

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Selling off land for housing would enable the association to realise its ambitions within a few years, rather than having to wait decades to raise the necessary funds, explained Mr Bushby.

The proposals were “a fantastic opportunity”, he said.

“Specialists have looked at the ‘flow’ of people around the showground and the SAA believes that it is not ideal at the moment.

Mr Fletcher and Mr Bushby believe that if the plans go ahead, they will be able to create one of the best showgrounds in the country.

They were meeting with their neighbours regularly, and taking into account their views, said Mr Fletcher. “Their biggest concern is noise, so we are very careful about not having too many noisy events,” he said.

The SAA will be hosting a public consultation on May 29 from 2pm to 8pm in the Bucklesham Rooms at Trinity Park.