The Council are holding a public consultation seeking your views on the Northern Fringe masterplan (referred to as the Ipswich Garden Suburb Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)) and hopefully you will have been able to visit one of the exhibitions. Running in parallel with this are consultations on a review of the Ipswich Core Strategy, which has major implications for the Northern Fringe, the associated Sustainability Appraisals and Site Allocations.
The outcome of these consultations will have a permanent effect on Ipswich including the character of the north of Ipswich and we would encourage you to make your views known to the Council.
You may have already submitted your views. If so, well done! If not, you may find it helpful to simply complete and return the tick sheet. We will be making submissions on behalf of our members and people who have asked us to represent them but of course they are always welcome to make their own submissions.
Ipswich Core Strategy Review – this is the plan that is driving the Northern Fringe development
We have a number of major concerns with the proposed changes to the Core Strategy, which also affect the Northern Fringe, and in our opinion make it unsound:
- It has radically changed its focus from a jobs-led to a housing needs–led strategy. Ipswich needs houses but it also needs jobs and the two need to be in balance. The implication of new homes being constructed without sufficient new jobs being created will result in either higher unemployment levels in the Borough or new residents having to travel outside the Borough to sites of employment. A firm job target is required and this needs to be in balance with the housing target.
- The Ipswich population/household forecasts and jobs growth forecasts are based on old data and need updating. The average jobs growth from 1991 to 2011 was 70/year yet the CS assumes 625/year from 2011-31. Do you believe it? Neither do we!
- The target for brownfield site development has been removed. We feel this should be reinstated and priority given to regenerating these sites over developing the Northern Fringe greenfield site.
- IBC now propose multi-site development across the whole of the Northern Fringe site from the outset, which has detrimental implications for the town centre regeneration, This needs to be better controlled to avoid a free-for-all and having one large building site for the next 20 years!
- The CS needs to do more to improve the lives of existing residents through raising educational standards, promoting healthier lifestyles, getting people off benefits and into work, revitalising the town centre, improving poor quality homes, kick starting the waterfront and reducing traffic congestion.
Ipswich Garden Suburb Supplementary Planning Document
There is much to like about the Ipswich Garden Suburb guiding principles apart from its size and location.
- The only principle employment growth site identified within the Ipswich boundary is the Futura Park/Ransomes Europark expansion. The next two nearest sites are the Former Sugar Beet Factory and Adastral Park. None of these are within easy reach of the proposed Northern Fringe housing development by public/sustainable transport. Since sufficient jobs growth is not forecast in the Town centre then commuting by car would seem inevitable with traffic congestion becoming even worse than it is now.
- We have major concerns over the proposed traffic scheme especially the replacement of the Valley Road/Westerfield Road and Valley Road/Tuddenham Road roundabouts with traffic lights. These roundabouts currently work well and the ‘jury is out’ on the Travel Ipswich Traffic Light System, which has received much unfavourable press. A full traffic impact assessment needs to be made before considering installing yet more traffic lights.
- Drainage and flooding are key concerns. In the UK we are experiencing extreme weather more regularly and developments need to be made more resilient to flooding. The Sustainable Urban Drainage proposals need careful assessment, sensitivity analysis and planning.
- No details are provided on the strategic improvements to the sewerage system. A year ago Anglian Water raised the possibility that a new pipeline will be required to link the Northern Fringe to Cliff Quay Treatment Works. Still there are no plans in place. Ipswich residents deserve to know what route the pipeline will take through the town and how long the works and the likely disruption will be.
- Page 106 specifies the minimum rear garden space requirements, which we feel cram houses too close together for a garden suburb. We would like to see larger dimensions than the minimum back garden length of 9m and area of 75 sq m for a 3-bed property.
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