These strategic documents which the Borough Council has been required to produce constitute the most important matters for the town and therefore The Ipswich Society at the present time and for the next few years.
Even with more space than usual to devote to this in the Newsletter, we can only choose some of the Society's responses, some of them grouped to make them easier to follow. We feel sure that members will find this interesting. Some of the issues are very controversial, in which case not everyone can be pleased by the Society's stance, but we hope these comments to the Borough Council seem sensible and constructive.
We can add that the Suffolk Preservation Society has written to IBC saying that "the Ipswich Society's reply can be taken to be the Suffolk reply as well".
Introductory letter to The Ipswich Society to IBC to accompany our detailed comments
We enclose our responses to the three major documents of the LDF which we have read thoroughly and discussed at length. In general, we support the proposals but we do put forward other views and emphasis in some areas. Our members have expressed views to us that can be summarised as follows:
Overdevelopment: We are concerned that, in an attempt to achieve the Ipswich Policy Area housing target, we develop every last plot of previously developed land, back garden and odd green patch. Densities need to be watched to avoid building future no-go areas. To prevent this, consideration may have to be given to developing the Northern Fringe in an 'eco' way before 2021.
Traffic: Congestion in the town centre is becoming bad and will worsen with more residents in Policy Area IP-One and increasing Felixstowe Dock traffic. Imaginative multi-nodal traffic management schemes are an urgent priority which should be planned in detail and instituted before the developments are built. At the same time we realise that major transport schemes are not within the Borough's powers; plus all pressures must be brought to bear on the relevant agencies to improve trunk roads and railways. We should be producing sensible plans to do this.
Design: As a Civic Society we are extremely perturbed by the quality of design that is currently being given planning permission. Our commitment to improving this through Development Control policies needs to be emphasised and highlighted in the LDF. Further, we believe that the centre of town needs an urgent review of the streetscape and traffic arrangements by a multi-disciplinary executive group.
Shopping: At the time of writing we do not feel that a greater area of central Ipswich should be zoned for retail. Rather, we should campaign actively to improve the quality of our shopping experience using the Ipswich BID scheme.