Ipswich: Community gathers to voice concerns over Northern Fringe development plans

Residents gathered to voice concerns about the plans for the Northern Fringe in Ipswich.

Residents gathered to voice concerns about the plans for the Northern Fringe in Ipswich.

TENSIONS ran high as a community gathered to get their opinions heard on the Northern Fringe development proposals.

Crowds converged at Northgate Arts Centre in Sidegate Lane West last night to hear borough and county council representatives answer concerns and queries about the plans which would see 3,500 homes built over a 20 year period.

Three options have been put forward for the land, between Tuddenham Road and Henley Road to the north of Valley Road.

Many of the concerns raised at the public meeting were over traffic and congestion in the area which residents feared would increase once plans are put into effect, with some questioning what could be done to ensure constant tailbacks and delays did not occur.

Others voiced concerns over bus lanes, traffic lights, car parking spaces, the impact on hospital and medical services and the necessary utilities the new development would require.

Green spaces was also an issue for those currently living in the area, with one resident arguing that the proposals for the southern part of the development lacked green spaces.

The group was told that the plans were not “set in stone” and that they should put forward their wants and needs during the consultation process, which ends of February 22.

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Steve Miller, the borough’s town planning manager, told the group that while currently in an economic recession it was still vital to plan for the future. He said: “We can’t squander this opportunity. We have to meet the long term requirements of the borough.”

Speaking after the meeting, borough council Carole Jones – who chaired the discussions – urged members of the public to put their opinions across. She said: “The council has a government requirement to produce a master plan and this is an opportunity for local people to say what they would and would not want to have as part of the plans.

“I would encourage people to come forward with their views.”

Comments about the plans can be sent to Phil Sweet, project officer, Ipswich Borough Council, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2DE.

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