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Top 10 Issues

This is a copy of our top 10 Issues for the development of the Ipswich Northern Fringe Master plan submitted to Ipswich Borough Council in May 2012

    NF Masterplan dependency on a IBC Core Strategy Review and compliance with the NPPF
  1. IBC′s revised timetable for its Local Development Scheme, issued as an ‘informal update’, shows the intention is to commence the Core Strategy (CS) review in March 2013, which is immediately after the Northern Fringe SPD (‘NF Masterplan’) is due to be finalised. We believe the CS Review should be undertaken in parallel with the NF Masterplan, i.e. during 2012/13, so that up-to-date and relevant evidence (as legally required by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) paragraph 1581) can be fed into the housing strategy and into the NF Masterplan prior to the latter being finalised.
    The Inspector′s legally-binding report into the IBC CS also recognised that a review of the CS was required ‘prior to the extent of Northern Fringe development being determined’ (see FPC232). The report′s Non Technical Summary specifically requires ‘the review of the CS as being 2012/2013.’ Although parts of the NF Masterplan could incorporate a degree of flexibility without being compromised by including a range of housing numbers, clearly the optimal start date and phasing for any development on the NF can only be determined by up-to-date and relevant evidence as legally required by the NPPF to ensure a realistic approach for jobs and homes targets.
    We believe the finalisation and adoption of the NF Masterplan should be made contingent upon the completion, publication and adoption of a review of the IBC CS and that the revised employment, housing data and targets etc are reflected back into the NF Masterplan. No development of the Ipswich NF should be agreed prior to the adoption of both the CS Review and NF Masterplan. To do otherwise would be in breach of the NPPF, the Inspector′s recommendations and is clearly sub-optimal for the future of Ipswich.

  2. Implementation of the brownfield first principle
  3. Development of the NF should not be premature but based upon new jobs growth and secondary to the development of brownfield sites within the Ipswich Policy Area as indicated in the CS. IBC has a good track record in helping develop brownfield sites and should continue this approach by offering every encouragement for the development of other brownfield sites across the Ipswich Policy Area. IBC should set the example by ensuring all new council homes are built on brownfield sites.

  4. Under the NPPF, IBC is legally required to work with neighbouring authorities to develop brownfield sites within the #8216housing market area#8217 ahead of greenfield sites based upon joint Strategic Housing Market Assessments. This includes sites such as the Sproughton sugar beet site, which cannot be unreasonably held back for employment purposes under the NPPF. To develop greenfield sites, such as the NF, before brownfield sites will be highly detrimental to the regeneration of Ipswich town, in breach of the NPPF and should not be permitted through the Masterplan.

    Minimising impact on existing infrastructure and residents
  5. As a general rule, key infrastructure should be implemented ahead of development. All development should take place in a phased manner that ensures completion of individual phases before further phases are allowed to commence.

  6. A new and comprehensive, independent traffic study should be undertaken during peak travel times (e.g. winter, during school-term, morning and evening rush hours) to feed into a traffic assessment of the impact of any proposed NF development. This should include all potential residential #8216rat runs#8217(for example through the Dales, Crofts, Whitton, Westerfield village, The Avenue, Christchurch Street, Chelsworth Av) and road junctions such as Berners Street/St Matthews, St Margarets Plain area, Chevalier Street/Bramford Rd as well as all junctions along Valley Rd/Colchester Rd etc.

  7. This should result in the identification and implementation of efficient site access and effective transport measures, funded by developers, to ensure main roads and junctions can cope with the additional traffic and to prevent increased traffic on residential roads ‘rat-runs’. Measures should also be implemented to facilitate good access to major employment sites, including east-west traffic movement.

  8. Investment, also funded by developers, should be made in sustainable transport such as improved bus routes, cycle routes that allow access to the town/across it, public footpath infrastructure (protection of existing rights of way and creation of new ones) and linkage to/investment in Westerfield station.

  9. Community facilities should be provided that complement and enhance existing amenities e.g. healthcare facilities, shops (that don't duplicate or unduly threaten existing businesses), community meeting space (which is currently lacking in St Margaret’s ward), green leisure space including the country park, timely schools provision with local 6th form capacity (note: "Suffolk One is designed as a sustainable educational establishment for South West Ipswich and South Suffolk students" - not North Ipswich as it is difficult to get to from North Ipswich at peak times). Investment in sufficient drainage/sewage capacity, broadband capacity etc is a given.

  10. The Northern Fringe Development
  11. A good balance of house-types with an emphasis on executive homes complemented with bungalows and sheltered accommodation for Ipswich’s ageing population and affordable housing that should be developed alongside private homes. This should not be substantially left to the end of the development as it risks late or even non-delivery of such affordable homes. Such a balance will result in a demographically-integrated and sustainable community.

  12. High quality build standards should be used that minimise carbon emissions and water usage with aesthetically pleasing design and excellent landscaping that include trees and open spaces (as above). A medium housing density should be employed with adequate provision for off road car parking that minimises water run-off and avoids issues such as those experienced at the Hayhill development.

  13. The development should be Integrated and fully inter-connected, e.g. road/footbridge over railway and sustainable transport as above. Elderly, infirm etc will need road access throughout the new community and around Ipswich.

  14. The development should minimise the impact on the natural environment through the protection and enhancement of existing biodiversity and green space e.g. hedgerows, trees, wildlife etc, creation of green corridors and with no increase in emissions at air pollution hot spots e.g. St Margaret’s and Norwich Rd roundabout.

1 That each local planning authority should ensure that the Local Plan is based on adequate, up-to-date and relevant evidence about the economic, social and environmental characteristics and prospects of the area. Local planning authorities should ensure that their assessment of and strategies for housing, employment and other uses are integrated, and that they take full account of relevant market and economic signals.
2 The work on the supplementary planning document will incorporate sufficient flexibility to allow for a wide range of housing numbers for the Northern Fringe.