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Draft Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) Development Plan Document

Ended on the 10 March 2014
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(2) Chapter 3: Vision and objectives

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

The Core Strategy Vision

Our Vision is to improve the quality of life 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.

As a result, by 2031 Ipswich will be a more vibrant, active and attractive modern county town successfully combining modern development with historic character – a true focus for Suffolk and beyond. It will be a place where people aspire to live, work, learn, visit and invest – and it will have a reduced carbon footprint! In spatial terms:

  1. There will be more people living and working in Ipswich town centre, which will be the focus for much of the new development.
  2. People will enjoy an improved shopping centre that includes a wider a mix of complementary uses, including new stores on allocated sites providing greater choice than at present, and improved cultural and sporting opportunities within the wider centre.
  3. Pedestrian links between the central shopping area and the Waterfront, the Village, Education Quarter and railway station will be direct, attractive, safe and well signed.
  4. Pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users will come first in Ipswich town centre. Traffic management measures in conjunction with improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and buses will ensure effective links between the wider Ipswich area and the town centre, and help keep congestion down and accessibility easy in the centre. Additional short stay parking will provide for car-borne shoppers and visitors.
  5. The distinctive network of beautiful parks and open spaces, green infrastructure and open water will be enhanced by the completion of the river path, improved ecological network and additional tree canopy cover and landscaping in new developments, surrounding areas and on the streets.
  6. As well as the concentration of jobs in the town centre, there will be new employment development at sites around the Borough including a strategic employment site at Crane’s, together with the continued development of existing employment areas distributed across the town.
  7. University Campus Suffolk will have continued its planned growth, to complete the new campus at the Waterfront and the adjacent Education Quarter.
  8. The town's health will be cared for through strategic health services brought together at the Heath Road Hospital site and a strong network of local surgeries and health centres, including replacement or additional provision for Lattice Barn, Woodbridge Road and Deben Road surgeries.
  9. During the plan period, land will start to come forward for development at Ipswich's Northern Fringe, in conjunction with highway, water, energy, education, green and health infrastructure. Express bus services and pedestrian and cycle routes will connect the area to the town centre.
  10. Outside central Ipswich, thriving district and local centres will provide local shopping and services close to people's homes and will be surrounded by strong and cohesive communities.

3.2 The focused review Core Strategy 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) 13,550 new dwelling units shall be provided in Ipswich between 2011 and 2031 in a manner that addresses identified local housing needs and provides a decent home for everyone, with at least 35% of them on larger sites being affordable homes; and (b) up to 12,500 additional jobs shall be provided in Ipswich to support growth in the Ipswich Policy Area between 2011 and 2031.

Objective 4: The development of the Borough should be focused primarily within the central Ipswich ‘IP-One’ area and within and adjacent to identified district centres.

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

  • Significantly enhancing the town centre in terms of quantity and quality of the shops, the cultural offer and the network of public spaces;
  • Extending the strategic greenspace, ecological network and canopy cover; and
  • Continuing to support the development of University Campus 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 through the Ipswich Major Scheme and other local initiatives. 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 Ipswich Village 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 cycle routes should be provided; and
  • Ipswich Borough Council aspires to an enhanced public transport system, such as guided bus.

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

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

3.4 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. Therefore another Council strategy, which this plan will help to implement through land use policies and proposals, is the Town Centre Master Plan published in 2012. The recommendations of the Town Centre Master Plan, many of which closely echo the Core Strategy, are as follows (listed by topic):

Retail

  • Build on the aspiration for Ipswich to be a regional shopping and cultural destination.
  • Achieve the goals of the [Master Plan] Vision - an additional 40,000m2 retail-led mixed use development on sites (1) between the Waterfront and the town centre (Merchant Quarter) (2) northwards extension of Tower Ramparts and (3) Tacket Street car park west of Cox Lane.
  • Actively promote new developments which provide a range of unit sizes rather than large single department stores.
  • Create street networks which promote leisure shopping and are attractive and convenient for all pedestrians.
  • Promote a “cafe culture” by permitting more food and drink uses in the town centre retail heart.
  • An improved open-air market and more specialised markets.
  • Encourage and promote the re-shaping of the town centre so that its orientation is more north to south.
  • Encourage retailers to extend the opening hours to the early evening.

Business and Enterprise

  • Concentrate any large-scale office development in the Ipswich Village/Portman Road areas.
  • Encourage and support creative industries to supplement and enhance retail and cultural activities.
  • Support and encourage businesses in the growth sectors to locate and develop within the town centre.

Culture, Heritage and Leisure

  • Support the development of regional and nationally renowned cultural and leisure facilities in the town centre, such as the Constable centre in Christchurch Mansion’s improved culture and leisure facilities.
  • Promote an arena and conference facility in the Education Quarter.
  • Develop a centre for cultural excellence based on the existing Ipswich Museum and Arts Hub on High Street with links to Crown Car Park, Crown Pools, Tower Ramparts and Christchurch Park through public realm improvements.
  • Heritage centre and Waterfront visitor attraction.

Promotion, Marketing and Tourism

  • Promotion of the evening economy which is safe and welcoming.
  • Establishment of a new Ipswich Tourism Association.
  • Development of effective web access to tourist information with Ipswich Central.

Housing

  • Residential-led mixed-use development on the Cox Lane car park east of Cox Lane (part of the site formerly known as the “Mint Quarter”).
  • The Star Lane area to the rear of Old Customs House should be the main focus for additional student accommodation.
  • Sustainable mixed-use development incorporating residential should be promoted throughout the town centre.
  • Residential development should be encouraged throughout the town centre, particularly family units.

Transport

  • Implementation of the Ipswich Major Scheme for transport improvements in so far as it does not compromise other objectives.
  • Provision of strategically positioned medium-sized short-stay multi-storey car parks at Tacket Street, Merchant Quarter, West End Road, Waterfront (east) and Crown car park as and when the schemes are implemented.
  • Improve bus access to the central area.
  • Relocation of the two bus stations to a single bus station on the Tacket Street car park and creation of enhanced satellite bus stops strategically positioned around the town centre. This will enable the Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre to be extended northwards with a pedestrian link to Crown Street car park and creation of an improved link between the town centre and the Waterfront via Turret Lane.
  • Making Star Lane more pedestrian friendly and easier to cross.
  • Improve links for pedestrians between the Waterfront and Town Centre.
  • Complete the installation of the comprehensive Walk Ipswich information system to help pedestrians get around the town.

Street Scene

  • Improve linkages for pedestrians between the Waterfront and town centre.
  • Extend pedestrianisation to include Upper Brook Street, Queen Street and Princes Street North.
  • Improve linkages for pedestrians at the northern gateway between Christchurch Mansion, Crown Pools, Crown Car Park, High Street and town centre.
  • Ensure the incorporation of quality open space within all new development.
  • Enhance the look and use of public spaces (including Cornhill) throughout the town centre.
  • Implement tree-planting programmes throughout the town centre and central area.

3.5 Where appropriate, the Town Centre Master Plan recommendations are picked up through the policies and proposals set out in this plan.

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