County confirms objections to 1,020 homes plans
- Credit: MERSEA HOMES/FPCR
County leaders have confirmed their holding objections over plans for 1,020 new homes, the final phase of the 3,500-property Ipswich Garden Suburb.
Ipswich Borough Council is due to decide Mersea Homes' Red House Park project this year.
Suffolk County Council said it recognised the importance of new housing on the northern fringe of Ipswich, but said more information was needed on key areas with chief concerns:
- Surface water drainage from the Millennium Cemetery to the east
- Increased flood risk in Westerfield
- Drainage on the school sites
- Adequacy of the traffic survey
- Impact on the wider road network
- Need more for evidence on prioritisation of cycling and walking routes
- Crossing on Tuddenham Road being too close to the railway bridge
- Inadequate travel plan
- Loss of habitat and biodiversity, including the existing green corridor on the western boundary with Westerfield Road
Richard Smith, Conservative cabinet member for economic development, transport strategy and waste, said it was an important scheme for the future development of Ipswich and officers are seeking to resolve issues by working with the borough council so the benefits of the development – including the delivery of a new primary and secondary school – can be realised.
He said: “Suffolk County Council cannot support this outline planning application at this time pending further information and clarification, and it requests that Ipswich Borough Council should not determine this application until our council’s present concerns are met.”
Inga Lockington, division councillor and Ipswich spokesperson from the Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group, said: “We need housing and places for residents to live, but we also need to think about the residents who will be affected by the development.
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“The biggest concerns are roads, traffic and drainage – they are the ones which have always come up with residents.”
Sandy Martin from the Labour group said: “Everyone can agree that the new Garden Suburb needs to be safe for walkers and cyclists, and obviously the new secondary school needs to have adequate and easily-maintained drainage.
“These are not party-political issues, we just need to make sure we get them right.
“But we also need to be aware that there are hundreds of young families in Ipswich that are desperate for houses of their own."
In its application, Mersea Homes said Red House Park will “make a significant contribution to the growth and development of Ipswich providing much needed housing in a well-designed garden suburb environment.”