| What is it? | Vision | Current Status |
NFPG Comments
| Top 10 Issues

  • Although we feel the development is unnecessary at this time and will adversely affect the regeneration of the town centre, if it is to go ahead then it should be done in a planned way that results in an attractive development whilst minimising negative impacts on existing residents.
  • We support the Master planning process although feel it is being unduly rushed through and various key issues are not being adequately addressed, particularly transport and the effects on the already congested road networks. The major employment sites are unlikely to be local to the Northern Fringe and access to these sites and the A12/A14 corridors has not been properly considered. Air quality requirements are also a key issue since there are already problems in meeting European Standards on some roads, such as Chevallier Street.
  • We support many key aspects of the vision for the Northern Fringe particularly the concept of a garden suburb that sensitively integrates into the existing neighbourhoods and the surrounding countryside. Also that the site will have a country park and plenty of green and open spaces. It is important not to lose sight of the vision once the development progresses.
  • We stress the importance of preserving the character of the North of Ipswich and developing a community, which both fits with that character yet has its own heart. The district centre with community facilities will help in the latter respect. However, it must be borne in mind that the site has a number of physical barriers that slice it into three separate areas notably the Ipswich to Lowestoft railway line and the Westerfield Road. It will be important to ensure good connectivity between the three sites to obtain an integrated whole and that all parts of the site can be easily accessed without having to use a car.
  • The big issues are transport, particularly site access and the impact upon the road networks and that wealth created through jobs growth within Ipswich will be insufficient to finance the development of the Northern Fringe. Unfortunately the prospects for jobs growth within Ipswich over the next 15 years are relatively modest according to Oxford Economics and the GVA Grimley Haven Gateway Employment Land Review October 2009 report. The situation has significantly deteriorated since then. Ipswich Borough Council is committed to a significant house-building programme of 700 homes per year over the next 15 years totally unmatched to wealth creation from jobs growth within Ipswich. The main assumption is that wealth created from jobs growth outside of Ipswich will finance the development of the Northern Fringe. This remains to be seen, however, what is clear is that the majority of employed people living on the new Northern Fringe development will need to travel by car to employment sites outside of Ipswich. Unfortunately the road networks are poor and congested. The proposed solution by Suffolk County Council is to control the exit of cars from the site through severely limiting the number of access points (like Ravenswood) and installing intelligent traffic lights that will only let traffic out if the surrounding roads can handle it and air quality is within legal limits. Traffic lights will also replace the roundabouts on Valley Road at Westfield and Tuddenham Roads. We feel this solution will be totally unacceptable to those buying the new properties and will only be a matter of time before the problem escalates. Better to have a more realistic solution now rather than sweep the problem under the carpet.
  • The character of the houses that surround the Ipswich Northern Fringe development are large privately owned bungalows and two storey detached houses of a low density fronted by grass verges and in some cases slip roads as well. Whilst we recognise the need for a variety of homes we support the views expressed by the developers during the Core Strategy Public Hearings in 2011 that there is an overwhelming need for family homes since this is more in keeping with the area. Ipswich Borough council wish to see 35% of the homes affordable, which includes shared equity schemes and social rented via housing associations and local authorities. This is an issue that requires open and honest consultation with members of the public and clear statements to private house purchases since this can often lead to later recriminations.