Ipswich Northern Fringe
Safeguarding the Character of Ipswich

The Ipswich Northern Fringe Protection Group is a local residents campaign group, which feels the development of the Ipswich Northern Fringe with up to 4000 new homes is unnecessary at this time and will adversely affect the regeneration of the Ipswich town centre leaving brown-field sites underdeveloped and resulting in significant traffic congestion problems.

Ipswich Sports Club Gets Planning Permission - 31st May 2017
At the planning meeting held on 31st May 2017 Ipswich Sports Club obtained full planning permission to develop 28 dwellings on their redundant synthetic hockey pitch situated off Henley Road. We objected to the application on the basis that the proposed development would be crammed onto a small site totally out of keeping with the residential properties in the area. The housing density was much higher than specified for the area (Council Policy DM30 refers) and the gardens failed to conform to Council Policy DM3. Regarding the latter, rather than having adequate back gardens as recommended in DM3, for the 4-bed houses this was provided on top of the garages.

We are concerned that the council have set a worrying precedent by allowing a housing density in the north of Ipswich much higher than their adopted policy and this could have implications for the Ipswich Garden Suburb as well as other developments.

Outline Planning Permission Granted - 8th February 2017
At a special planning meeting held on 8th February 2017, Ipswich Borough Council approved an outline planning application from Crest Nicholson to develop its land, which forms part of the Ipswich Garden Suburb. The land lies to the north of the Felixstowe railway line bordering Henley Road and Westerfield Road and south of Lower Road. The outline application comprises some 1100 homes, a primary school and a small shopping centre. Its acceptance opens the way for Crest to submit a detailed application for the 1st phase of its development, probably before the end of this year.

We opposed the application; together with Save our Country Spaces and the Ipswich Society, primarily on the bases of the significant impact on transport, foul water infrastructure and air quality.

Ipswich Local Plan Adopted – 22nd February 2017
Despite our best efforts, the revised Ipswich Local Plan was found sound, subject to a number of modifications, by the Government appointed Inspector on 17th January 2017. Ipswich Borough Council subsequently adopted it on 22nd February 2017.

It means that the entire Ipswich Northern Fringe, known as the Ipswich Garden Suburb, has been allocated for development, a major disappointment to us all.

Ipswich Local Plan Stage 2 Examination 28th June – 20th July 2017
The Stage 2 Hearings focused upon a wide range of topics including:
  • The development and location of new homes including the Ipswich Garden Suburb
  • The growth and locations of new employment and retail sites
  • The assessment and need for new infrastructure including transport
  • The impact on the environment including air quality.

We presented written documents and gave evidence at all hearings concerning the above pointing out weaknesses in the Council’s proposed Local Plan, particularly on the proposed Ipswich Garden Suburb and its impact on traffic, air quality and infrastructure. Overall we argued that the revised Local Plan was unsound and should be rejected.

Following on from the Hearings, the Inspector proposed a number of modifications to the revised Local Plan (referred to as Main Modifications) to improve soundness and these were the subject of public consultation between 20th October-1st December 2016.

Despite there being a number of Main Modifications which we supported, we are disappointed that they failed to address the major issues raised by the community during the plan examination, specifically on the adverse impact of the Local Plan on traffic congestion and air quality and the risks of allocating the entire Ipswich Garden Suburb (IGS) for development.

Ipswich Core Strategy Stage 1 Examination - 25th Apr 2016
The Stage 1 Examination of the revised Ipswich Core Strategy took place on 22nd and 23rd March 2016. It focussed upon:
  • Whether Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) had met the legal requirements regarding the duty to co-operate with neighbouring Councils on strategic cross-boundary issues (e.g. jobs growth, housing growth and strategic infrastructure)
  • Whether the assessed needs for housing and employment land were soundly based.

We argued that IBC had failed to meet its legal obligations under the 2011 Localism Act. This view was also supported by some other parties including Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, SOCS (Save our Country Spaces), Mersea Homes, CBRE Global Solutions and the Home Builders Federation.

Despite our arguments, the Inspector has decided to proceed to Stage 2 of the local plan examination, which is likely to commence in the next few months.

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On the Grapevine
Warning: Contains unsubstantiated information

  • One of our members was informed that Japanese Knotweed had been found on the Northern Fringe site south of the railway line. Documents submitted as part of the Mersea Homes/CBRE hybrid planning application 14/00638/OUTFL have indicated that Japanese Knotweed has been found close to the site, this will need to be closely monitored as it can spread quickly and remedial action may be required as some stage.