An ambitious property development at the Adastral Park site near Ipswich has taken a step closer to construction, with planning permission set to be granted for road and other infrastructure work in the area around the new development site. The development – now called Brightwell Lakes – was approved earlier this year and will see some 2,000 new homes built in the area.
Approval by Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planning committee will allow work on the entrance to the development site and main roads to proceed. This initial infrastructure work will take place before construction commences on any homes, but will pave the way for the first phase of 500 homes to be built on the 279-acre site.
Design work on the infrastructure improvements in support of the development is still ongoing, with planned work including widening road lanes and the introduction of traffic lights at roundabouts on the A12 between Foxhall and the development site, as well as at the A12/A14 Seven Hills interchange. The work will also include construction of the junction and entrance connecting the Brightwell Lakes site to the A12, as well as the development’s main spine road, The Boulevard.
One aspect of the plans that has seen a redesign is a wall adjacent to the A12 which is intended to act as a sound barrier against traffic noise. Previous plans for a vertically-planted concrete wall had been criticised as “stark”, while the latest plan now intends to construct the wall from stacked timber sleepers designed to give a more “natural and rustic” appearance.
The Brightwell Lakes development, which gained planning permission in April this year, will see the construction of up to 2,000 new homes of various types, including starter homes, family and elderly accommodation, as well as planned affordable housing. It is intended to be a “lower density” housing development, with homes surrounded by open green spaces including meadows, heathland, woodland, play areas and trails, as well as areas set aside for allotments and community orchards.
Amenities planned for Brightwell Lakes include an £18 million “all-through” school with provisions for early years, primary, secondary and sixth-form education catering for over 1,800 children. There will also be a new community centre, sports and recreation facilities, as well as local shops. The developer has also pledged to contribute towards healthcare service provision, either through a new facility on-site, or investment into existing local healthcare providers.
While some are hailing this latest step towards the beginning of construction, the Brightwell Lakes development hasn’t been without controversy. Prior to planning approval being issued in April, the developers faced fierce opposition from local representatives who came together under the banner of NANT – No Adastral New Town – which sought to challenge the development in both the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
Image Credit: Brightwell Lakes