Ipswich: Is this how the future looks for the town’s northern fringe?

Northern Fringe development

Northern Fringe development - Credit: contributed

Could this be what the first new homes on the northern fringe – or Ipswich Garden Suburb – look like?

Essex-based housebuilder Mersea Homes has submitted a “hybrid” application to develop farmland between Westerfield Road, Henley Road, and the East Suffolk rail line.

The outline application is for up to 815 new homes, a district centre and a primary school.

However included in this application is a detailed bid to build 80 new homes on part of the site immediately to the west of Westerfield Road.

This would have its own access on to the road – to the north of what will eventually become the main entrance to the development.

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The outline application includes major changes to Westerfield Road. Initially access to the site will be via two normal junctions.

However eventually the section between the main entrance to the development, about 150 metres north of the last homes currently, and the entrance to the first phase of homes could be turned into a dual carriageway with roundabouts to cope with vehicle movements.

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Mersea Homes also propose making changes to the Westerfield Road roundabout at the junction with Valley Road and both the Henley Road and Dale Hall Lane traffic lights on the same road.

This has prompted Rod Brooks, from the Northern Fringe Protection Group, to warn that motorists using the old Ipswich by-pass will face months of disruption – with the road being closed for part of the time.

He said: “Whatever happens in the long term there will be a great deal of disruption on the roads while this work is going on.”

Mr Brooks feels that the council has no option but to get on and adopt its planning masterplan for the northern fringe so it has a detailed blueprint in place before it considers Mersea Homes’ application.

“The application is premature, but the council needs to have something to judge it against so their hands are tied on this rather,” he said.

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