Ipswich School's applications for a new sports facility on Tuddenham Road and a development on Valley Road
Ipswich School has made two large separate but financially inter-dependent applications. John Norman and I have met with the School development team over two long meetings. They have been unfailingly helpful in providing information.
At the outer end of Tuddenham Road beyond the Millennium Cemetery the School has applied to develop over 50 acres of farming land they own into a sports complex which would have many pitches for all sports, notably two hockey pitches on a thin layer of water; there would also be a two storey pavilion, a very large sports hall and a reservoir to store water. These large facilities are required because the school is increasing in numbers, particularly girls. It would be available for use to other schools, other educational establishments and other organisations. Though we are unhappy about moving the locus of sports activities further from the centre we accept that development here is inevitable and will make Tuddenham Road a sports centre of Ipswich. The facilities will be superb, certainly regional and in the case of hockey national in standard. It would be a real asset for the whole of Ipswich.
We have two worries that need to be addressed: firstly the upward light emitted needs to be strictly designed, controlled and monitored so that there is minimal spill upwards and outwards to the countryside to the north. Secondly, transport arrangements need to be looked at more closely. Most will be by road transport because schools can comply with risk assessments most easily and cheaply by using buses. However walking and cycling need to be encouraged and therefore safe. It is essential that a pedestrian and cycle way is constructed from the existing one at Colchester Road, crossing the railway in a safe way and continuing on land "borrowed" from the cemetery and entering the site before the Pets' Cemetery.
The second application concerns the School's Notcutt playing fields to the north of Valley Road between Henley and Westerfield Roads. The School has made an outline application to build 220 houses, a care home and a community building. Access to the care home would be from Vere Gardens and to the remainder from Valley Road by demolishing number 161.
The Society is objecting strongly on the following grounds :-
- As yet there is no need for Greenfield developments, though strictly speaking this is Brownfield as it is already developed for sports use.
- In ten years time there will be a need to develop north of Valley Road. It should then be done with a master plan which would allow in due course 1500 - 2000 houses with transport systems, educational, medical, sports, and shopping facilities. A development of this size would support this infrastructure. What must not happen is relatively small developments such as this with no master plan drawn up by competent urban planners and architects. Already Mersea Homes has joined the bandwagon with an application for 1100 homes on an adjacent site. (They do plan a bus service)
- There is no real effort to provide for sustainable transport such as walking and cycling. Any development north of Valley Road will have to provide a cycle and pedestrian way which is relatively road traffic free and safe at all times.
- It cannot be right to demolish a very serviceable early twentieth century detached five bedroom dwelling to provide access when there is a vacant plot next door.
- The access to the care home via Vere Gardens is undesirable as is any new access on to Valley Road.
- 596 letters of representation have been registered. Some may be the same but none that I have read are anything but local residents' objections.