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Ipswich Borough Council Local Plan Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) DPD Review - Final Draft

Ended on the 2nd March 2020
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Part A The Context

(1) CHAPTER 2: The Ipswich Local Plan

2.1 The Ipswich Local Plan consists of two development plan documents (DPDs), supported by policies maps. The DPDs for Ipswich are the adopted Core Strategy and Policies Development Plan Document Review and the adopted Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) Development Plan Document. In addition to the Local Plan, there are other planning documents for Ipswich:

  • Supplementary Planning Documents – for example the Local List (Buildings of Townscape Interest) and Ipswich Garden Suburb supplementary planning documents; and
  • Supporting documents: the Statement of Community Involvement Review March 2018, Local Development Scheme, Supplementary Guidance and Authority Monitoring Report.

2.2 The Council's adopted Core Strategy and Policies Development Plan Document Review sets out a Borough-wide growth strategy up to 2031 in terms of numbers of homes and jobs needed and also the spatial distribution of growth. The Core Strategy Review favours brownfield development early in the plan period, in order to maintain the momentum of urban regeneration around the Waterfront. Greenfield development becomes progressively more significant throughout the plan period. The Core Strategy Review identifies the Northern Fringe of Ipswich (known as the Ipswich Garden Suburb) as the main area for housing growth on greenfield land.

2.3 The adopted Site Allocations Plan provides the detailed policies, which give effect to certain strategic policies of the Core Strategy, including policies CS7 (housing) and CS13 (employment). The two development plan documents together form the Ipswich development plan. Proposed development is assessed against all relevant policies contained within the two plans. Both plans are under review to extend their timescale to 2036.

2.4 The national context for the Ipswich Local Plan is provided by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It was revised in July 2018 and February 2019. One of the tests of soundness for development plan documents is consistency with the policies in the NPPF[2]. In addition, Planning Practice Guidance is published by the Government to provide more detailed advice to local planning authorities.

2.5 The Site Allocations Plan incorporates the IP-One Area Action Plan. Core Strategy Review policy CS3 commits the Council to preparing the Area Action Plan to implement the spatial strategy of urban renaissance. Therefore the key elements of the IP-One Area Action Plan have been incorporated into this Site Allocations Plan. The area covered by IP-One is indicated on the map below. It includes areas known as the Waterfront, Portman Quarter (previously called Ipswich Village), the Education Quarter and the town centre. It was defined as an area where significant change is expected during the plan period. Policies applying within the IP-One area and the boundaries of the areas referred to above are shown on an IP-One inset policies map.

Figure 1 IP-One Boundary

2.6 IP-One consists of 301 hectares (just over 3 square kilometres) of low-lying land adjacent to the River Orwell. The ground rises to the north, east and south to ridges, which in many places are wooded and provide a distinctive and attractive green backdrop to the central area. The River represents a positive focus for regeneration, but also something of a barrier to movement, both north-south and east-west. The area includes two large conservation areas - Central (1) and Wet Dock (11) – and the smaller Stoke Conservation Area (9) and a small part of the St Helen's conservation area (6).

2.7 The IP-One area divides into several identifiable areas of activity: the Central Shopping Area where retailing is the dominant use; the wider town centre where leisure (such as Ipswich Town Football Club) and office uses predominate; the Waterfront with its mix of commercial, leisure, port-related and residential uses; Portman Quarter in the west of IP-One which is a mixed-use neighbourhood primarily of homes and offices, and the Education Quarter in the east where the new University of Suffolk and Suffolk New College are the main land uses. There is a degree of overlap between some of the areas.

Key Issues for the Site Allocations Plan

2.8 The Council is required to keep under review matters which may be expected to affect the planning and development of the Borough[3]. Thus a body of evidence underpins the Final Draft Core Strategy and the Final Draft Site Allocations Plan. Key elements of the local evidence base include:

  • Ipswich Economic Area Sector Needs Assessment, September 2017,
  • Ipswich Employment Land Supply Assessment, April 2018,
  • the Ipswich Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment update November 2018 and updated November 2019 (SHELAA),
  • the Ipswich and Waveney Housing Market Areas Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) Part 1 and Part 2 (including January 2019 update) Reports, May 2017,
  • New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk 2017,
  • Ipswich and Suffolk Coastal Retail and Commercial Leisure Study 2017 and Retail Position Update Statement August 2019,
  • Settlement Sensitivity Assessment Volume 1: Landscape Fringes of Ipswich, July 2018,
  • 2011 Census ONS,
  • Authority Monitoring Report 13 2017-2018,
  • Ipswich Strategic Flood Risk Assessment 2011 (SFRA) and 2019 refresh,
  • Ipswich Wildlife Audit Update 2012-13 and 2019 Review,
  • Suffolk County Council Historic Environment Record and Urban Archaeological Database;
  • Ipswich Transport Modelling, 2019, and
  • Gypsy, Traveller, Travelling Showpeople and Boat Dwellers Accommodation Needs Assessment for Ipswich, Babergh, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney, in partnership with Suffolk County Council, 2017.

2.9 These documents and others may be found on the Council's website www.ipswich.gov.uk within the Planning Policy Core Document Library and on the page entitled New Evidence Base Documents for the Ipswich Local Plan Review to 2036.

2.10 The key strategic challenges for Ipswich are identified in the Core Strategy Review paragraph 5.25. Some of the more detailed issues emerging from the evidence, which this plan needs to address, are as follows:

  • allocating sufficient land to meet objectively assessed housing need in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework;
  • allocating enough good quality land to attract and retain jobs within the Borough;
  • strengthening the role of Ipswich town centre in response to ongoing changes to the way in which it serves Ipswich's residents and visitors and allocating suitable and available sites for future town centre development;
  • managing the additional travel demands that growth will generate and guiding as many trips as possible to sustainable modes for the good of the environment, economy and health;
  • tackling deprivation in the worst affected wards;
  • supporting the completion of key regeneration projects at the Waterfront;
  • enhancing pedestrian and cycle connections across and around the town, particularly between the Waterfront and town centre;
  • addressing the conservation and enhancement of heritage assets and biodiversity;
  • ensuring that policies and allocations support the health and wellbeing of people in Ipswich; and
  • ensuring that demands placed on new development do not render it non-viable.

[2] NPPF 2019 paragraph 35.

[3] Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, Part 2 Section 13.

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