Plea for more affordable homes

CALLS have been made for more affordable homes to be built in a Suffolk town – as plans for a controversial housing development gather pace.Trevor Payne, an Ipswich borough councillor, was speaking as members of the authority prepare to study the results of a community consultation into a proposed scheme on the town's northern fringe.

CALLS have been made for more affordable homes to be built in a Suffolk town – as plans for a controversial housing development gather pace.

Trevor Payne, an Ipswich borough councillor, was speaking as members of the authority prepare to study the results of a community consultation into a proposed scheme on the town's northern fringe.

The project, which forms part of the draft Ipswich local plan, could see 1,500 new homes built, along with a new shopping centre and a school.

And the consultation into the project, carried out by Shillam and Smith, revealed a surprising amount of support for the massive scheme.


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Around 75% of people said they wanted to be involved – with affordable housing top of the wish list.

Speaking after reading the consultation report, Cllr Payne, chairman of the northern fringe steering group, said: "This consultation shows local people are passionate about the future of their town.

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"The report will be debated at Executive later this year but I want to stress that the consultation goes on.

"The fact is that Ipswich needs more homes. Why shouldn't local young people stay in the area near their families?

"Our desire is to see a good mix of houses at a mix of prices to give young people that option.

"Like Ravenswood, we want to see a green community built up here with good facilities for young and old people, with a school, health centre, meeting places, shops and green spaces.

"We want it to be a community residents, and Ipswich, will be proud of."

Max Stocker, a spokesman for the council, stressed there was still time for people to have their say on the development.

He added: "I think the results of the consultation might surprise a lot of people.

"Three-quarters of respondents said that, as they believed a community would be built in the north of Ipswich, they wanted to help shape it.

"Less than 25% of people were opposed to the development in principle.

"Shillam and Smith asked people to put down a shopping list of what they wanted to see, and affordable housing was on there – people said that their children should be able to get a foot on the housing ladder near their parents.

"Also, respondents said they wanted something like a little country park, a community centre, a religious hall, a GP surgery and pharmacy, a petrol station, local shops and public transport.

"It's far too early to say when the scheme could go ahead – what happens now is that we're printing up the report and it should be available to the public in two weeks.

"Both the council and Shillam and Smith will be contacting more local people, so if they haven't had their say so far, we would hope that they do so now."

The consultation report is set to go before the council's executive later this year.

Anyone who wants to give their views on the development should write to Sue Arnold, Head of Strategic Planning, The Civic Centre, Ipswich, IP1 2EE, or e-mail strategicplanningandregeneration@ipswich.gov.uk.

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