Ravenswood residents up in arms over plans for new council homes
PUBLISHED: 17:09 11 August 2020
The Ravenswood Residents’ Association has accused Ipswich council of trying to stifle debate about proposals to build scores of new affordable homes on the development by unveiling the plans and holding a consultation during August.
And they have warned that, after winning a battle against plans to build 94 council homes in the area four years ago, they will fight the new proposals which would see 67 affordable homes built.
There would be a further 29 homes built for rent at market rate and for sale as starter homes to essential workers.
Ravenswood Residents’ Association chair Bryan Patterson said: “A lot of people are very unhappy that this has all come out in August when people have finally managed to get away for a holiday. Also because it’s been announced while there are still restrictions we can’t hold public meetings to give people a say.
“But the reason this was rejected four years ago, that this is a mixed community and there should be a 65-35 balance between private and council houses still remains.”
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He said residents did not accept there would only be 67 council homes because the 19 market-rent homes would be owned by Handford Homes which is a council-owned company.
He had contacted the Department of Housing an Local Government to ask ministers to intervene – and had also contacted Ipswich MP Tom Hunt.
Mr Hunt said he was disappointed that the council had chosen to run a consultation during August, but was seeking more views and information about the proposals before making any further comments on the plans.
Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said there was good time for people to comment on the proposals and all views would be considered by Handford Homes before the formal planning application was lodged. Details of the proposal and the chance to have a say is here.
He said: “From what I am hearing most people are not able to get away this year because of the restrictions – but even those who are on holiday will have time to have their say.”
This is a pre-application by Handford Homes and there will be further opportunities to comment once the application has been lodged.
He added: “The planning process has changed completely over the last four years and we could have gone ahead with 100% council homes there – but it was thought right to get a better balance because of the history of this site.
“And I have to warn objectors that if the government goes ahead with its proposed changes to the planning system, there will be very little they can do or say to prevent any development in an area that the government feels is suitable for new homes.”
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