Suffolk Coastal District Council appears to have dismissed a developer’s plan for an ambitious new “garden village” – comprising up to 2,700 homes – on land next to the A12 and Bucklesham Road, east of Ipswich. The council has expressed that the developer’s plan to build the new town in the area is at this stage speculative, and that “the new Local Plan does not include this proposal”.
Cheshire-based property developer Gladman has proposed plans to build “Orwell Green Garden Village” between the village of Bucklesham and Trinity Park, near Ipswich. Despite the idyllic-sounding name, the proposed new town would consist of thousands of new homes – including market, affordable and specialist housing – built across a 355-acre site, housing up to 7,000 people in total. The town would include community facilities, a health centre, a shopping centre and schools. The development would also involve building a new roundabout on the A12 north of the Seven Hills interchange.
While no planning application has yet been made to Suffolk Coastal District Council, the developer has been carrying out public consultations on the planned garden village development. Gladman proposes that a larger, self-contained community like Orwell Green Garden Village is a more sustainable and preferable alternative to more dispersed housing development around existing smaller historic villages and market towns in the area.
Gladman maintains that “development on the edge of Ipswich along the key strategic corridors of the A12 and A14 not only takes the homes away from these smaller settlements but will also have minimal impact on the districts’ unique beauty”. The developer also argues that such a community would put less pressure on the local road networks than more spread-out developments on the outskirts of existing towns and villages.
According to a spokesperson for Suffolk Coastal District Council, the developer’s plans are purely speculative and do not fit in with current council plans for future housing developments in the area. He said: “This site is not one that is identified as being considered for future development at this time within the draft Local Plan, which is currently being finalised by Suffolk Coastal before being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination in March 2019.”
Councillor Susan Harvey, vice-chair of the planning committee, added: “We have identified where the new homes are needed in the district right through to 2036, and the new Local Plan does not include this proposal. I understand that people living in Bucklesham and the area around here will be concerned – but I really don’t think there is any need for these homes and little likelihood of this proposal ever being built.”
Orwell Green is the latest large-scale housing development proposed for the Ipswich and Suffolk Coastal area, with work set to commence on the Brightwell Lakes and Ipswich Garden Suburb developments imminently.