MP: Don’t forget north west of town also needs development
IPSWICH: Don’t forget about us.
That was the plea from Dr Dan Poulter amid concerns over major developments in the north west of Ipswich stalling while projects in the south east of the town come to fruition.
The development of Futura Park, with its John Lewis at home and Waitrose stores, and the potential for a new community on the site of Ipswich Academy have boosted the area.
But proposals for major developments in the north west of Ipswich have hit the buffers – and Dr Poulter believes that part of town had sometimes been forgotten by the borough leadership.
“There are some very good councillors in the area like (Conservatives) David Goldsmith and Robin Vickery – and Labour’s David Ball and Albert Grant have done much for Whitehouse.
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“But it has been difficult to get the executive to understand some of the issues that people in the area have to confront.”
Dr Poulter had been working with Whitton United to try to improve their facilities for use by the wider community – but he had been disappointed that a proposal by the former Conservative/LibDem administration at the borough to transfer Whitton Sports Centre to the Ipswich Town Charitable Trust had fallen through.
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He said: “That would have given the centre and the whole area a boost.”
There remains a proposal for most of the King George V playing fields to be redeveloped and new pitches to be created next to the sports centre a short distance away – but so far there has been no sign of work starting.
Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said the borough was very much focused on development in the north west of the town – only last week it had obtained planning permission for new council homes on Whitton Church Lane.
He said: “If Dr Poulter is looking at economic development in the north west of the town, he should ask his Conservative colleagues at the county council to re-open the Bury Road Park and Ride which they closed last year.
“We are coming forward with planning options for the former Tooks Bakery, next to the playing fields, but in the current economic situation there are no major private-sector housing developments getting under way – and that’s not something that the borough council is responsible for.”
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