New bid for Northern Fringe homes

CONTROVERSY is expected to be sparked today after a new bid was revealed to build 1,000 homes Ipswich's Northern Fringe.

CONTROVERSY is expected to be sparked today after a new bid was revealed to build 1,000 homes Ipswich's Northern Fringe.

Ipswich Borough Council announced the plans today, which make up the Local Development Framework Core Strategy- a document that explores how the town is set to develop over future decades.

As well as the proposals to build houses on the Northern Fringe between 2016 and 2021, other plans include:

a northern bypass in the town as well the consolidation of health services onto the Ipswich Hospital site


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a new transport scheme to limit traffic on the northern quays of the Waterfront and a possible shuttle bus service

the former Cranes site in Nacton Road to be used as a “strategic employment site”

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more housing across the town to meet the government's targets

A consultation on the document last year attracted 3,000 comments from members of the public, many of whom were outraged at the possibility of more housing in an already cramped area. The government's target is for 15,400 houses to be built in the town by 2021.

Now that some of the plans have been amended, the document is set to be discussed at a council meeting next week.

Richard Atkins, the council's portfolio-holder for planning and economic development, said: “The northern fringe proposals will be controversial but I have reached the view that some development there is inevitable and that it is important that any such development is planned strategically and that it doesn't happen in an un-coordinated piecemeal fashion.”

As the Regional Assembly may allocate more housing growth for Ipswich up to 2031, the council said it has had to reconsider developing on the Northern Fringe site.

Elizabeth Harsant, leader of the council added: “The council has long been concerned about the appropriateness and sustainability of the government's and the Regional Assembly's growth proposals for Ipswich beyond 2021. We will continue to challenge the Assembly on its plans and push for the fact that there is an economic recession to be taken into account during this process.”

How will these proposals affect you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

The strategy will be considered by the council's executive committee next Tuesday, before a final decision is taken by a meeting of the full Council in September. The changes will not happen until 2016 at the earliest.

Last year preferred options were put forward for the strategy, which included building 442 houses across people's gardens, 512 houses on the grounds of St Clement's Hospital, and 160 units in Suffolk Road.

Following feedback, the council has now backtracked on plans to build more houses in Clapgate Lane, Defoe Road, Newton Road and Henniker Road. It also expects to cut the number of houses planned on sites such as St Clement's Hospital, Suffolk Road and Halifax Road.

There is already an ongoing dispute about a possible development on the Northern Fringe site with proposals by Ipswich School to sell their land to housing developers to build a new state of the art sports park elsewhere.

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