Preferred Options Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) DPD Review

Ended on the 13 March 2019

(5) CHAPTER 3: Vision and objectives

3.1 The Core Strategy Review vision for Ipswich Borough provides the context for this more detailed Site Allocations Plan. The Core Strategy Review vision is as follows:

The Core Strategy Review Vision

Our Vision is to improve the quality of life, health and well-being for all who live in, work in, learn in and visit Ipswich by supporting growth and ensuring that development happens in a sustainable manner so that the amenities enjoyed by local people are not harmed and the town is enhanced.

By 2036, Ipswich town centre will embrace a greater mix of uses providing opportunities for shopping, leisure and cultural activities, learning, working and living. The town centre, Waterfront and Portman Quarter will provide a range and choice of higher density homes to meet needs including on a redeveloped Island Site, whilst recognising that not everyone wishes to live in a flat. The Princes Street corridor will be a busy office quarter providing modern, flexible Grade A floorspace. Movement around the town centre will be easiest by foot and cycle, using an integrated network of safe, convenient and attractive routes, supported by a high-quality public transport network. The town centre will be inclusive, addressing the needs of the less mobile within a high quality public realm.

Outside central Ipswich, thriving district and local centres will provide local shopping, leisure and services close to people's homes and be at the hub of strong and cohesive communities. Three new neighbourhoods will be completed at Ipswich Garden Suburb with housing delivered alongside a country park and highway, water, energy, education, green and health infrastructure.

By 2036, a range of new homes will be provided across the Borough and within the Housing Market Area to meet needs. The Ipswich economy will have grown hand in hand with the skills and knowledge of the local workforce, providing opportunities for all as part of a strong and prosperous Ipswich Functional Economic Area supported by a successful university. Growth will be supported by modern, fit for purpose infrastructure, and Ipswich will be well connected and offer a range of sustainable transport modes to all its users.

The distinctive network of beautiful parks and open spaces, green infrastructure and open water will be protected and enhanced, to support their use by people and wildlife. The town's tree canopy will be extended and opportunities taken to enhance biodiversity and adapt to climate change. The town's built and natural heritage will be conserved and enhanced and growth will respect the character and distinctiveness of neighbourhoods within Ipswich.

The Ipswich of 2036 will have grown and changed in ways that respect the past and look to the future; it will be a county town that everyone in Suffolk will feel proud of.

3.2 The Core Strategy Review goes on to identify objectives in paragraph 6.8. Those with a geographical element which will need to be addressed through this Site Allocations Plan are:

Objective 3 At least (a) 8,622 new dwellings shall be provided to meet the needs of Ipswich within the Housing Market Area between 2018 and 2036 in a manner that addresses identified local housing needs and provides a decent home for everyone, with 31% at the Ipswich Garden Suburb and 15% in the remainder of the Borough being affordable homes; and (b) approximately 15,580 additional jobs shall be provided in Ipswich to support growth in the Ipswich Strategic Planning Area between 2018 and 2036.

Objective 4 The development of the Borough should be focused primarily within the central Ipswich 'IP-One' area, Ipswich Garden Suburb and within and adjacent to identified district centres (these areas are identified on the key diagram).

Objective 5 Opportunities shall be provided to improve strategic facilities in Ipswich by:

  • Significantly enhancing the town centre in terms of the range and quality of the shops, the cultural and leisure offer and the public realm;
  • Extending the strategic greenspace, ecological network and canopy cover; and
  • Continuing to support the development of the University of Suffolk and Suffolk New College.

Objective 6 To improve accessibility to and the convenience of all forms of transport, and achieve significant modal shift from the car to more sustainable modes. This will: (a) promote choice and better health; (b) facilitate sustainable growth, development and regeneration; (c) improve integration, accessibility and connectivity; and (d) promote green infrastructure as alternative 'green' non-vehicular access around the town and urban greening of existing routes. Specifically:

  • Significant improvements should take place to the accessibility to and between the three key nodes of: the railway station (including the wider Portman Quarter environment), the Waterfront (and particularly the Education Quarter) and the Central Shopping Area;
  • Additional east-west highway capacity could be provided within the plan period in the Ipswich area to meet the needs of the wider population and to provide the potential to reallocate some central road space;
  • Comprehensive, integrated cycle routes should be provided; and
  • Ipswich Borough Council aspires to an enhanced public transport system.

Objective 7 Enhanced flood protection including a tidal surge barrier to be in place to protect the town's existing and expanding communities from the threat of tidal flooding.

Objective 8 To protect and enhance high quality, accessible strategic and local open spaces rich in biodiversity and geodiversity for people to visit and use, and conserve and enhance the historic environment and landscape character of Ipswich, including historic buildings, archaeology and townscape.

Objective 9 To retain and provide high quality schools, health facilities, sports and cultural facilities and other key elements of community infrastructure in locations accessible by sustainable means and in time to meet the demands put on such services from the town's growth and ageing population.

Objective 10 To tackle deprivation and inequalities across the town.

Objective 11 To improve air quality and create a safer, greener, more cohesive town.

3.3 As part of the Ipswich Local Plan, this combined Draft Site Allocations Plan Review aims to start to deliver the Draft Core Strategy Review vision through the policies and proposals contained in the following chapters.

The Site Allocations Plan incorporates the IP-One Area Action Plan referred to in Core Strategy policy CS3. The IP-One area, as explained in Chapter 2, covers central Ipswich including the town centre. The Council is a signatory to the Ipswich Vision document for the town centre, which is called 'Turning our Town Around' and was published in 2015. It sets out a vision for the town centre as follows. The Ipswich Vision is to create 'East Anglia's Waterfront Town' and demands:

  • A town centre that will attract new investment
  • A town centre that is true to its history
  • A town centre that is bold and ambitious
  • A town centre that recognises the need for change
  • A town centre that will excite those who visit it
  • A town centre that will appeal to those beyond its immediate catchment.

3.4 Where appropriate and consistent with the evidence base, the draft policies and proposals set out in this plan support the achievement of the Waterfront Town Centre vision, for example, by allocating sites for development and protecting the town's built heritage.

3.5 The Vision brings together the aspirations of the partners on a range of issues and identifies a series of actions for the next few years. Some of these are relevant to the Local Plan and others are not, because they relate to matters beyond the remit of the planning system. The two documents (the statutory 'Local Plan' and the 'Vision for Ipswich') are considered to complement each other in a helpful way.

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