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Draft Core Strategy and Policies Focused Review

Ended on the 10th March 2014
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CHAPTER 6: Vision and Objectives

6.1 Introduction

6.2 It is vital that the Ipswich Local INSERTED: Plan DELETED: Development Framework is led by a vision and a series of objectives that link appropriately to the Community Strategy DELETED: and to the Regional Spatial Strategy.

6.3 It is also important that the vision and objectives are specific to Ipswich and are not entirely bland statements that would be suitable for any urban area in the country.

6.4 The Core Strategy is central to this process and should provide a strategic vision and strategic objectives that the rest of this document and others within the INSERTED: Local Plan DELETED: Framework should be in conformity with. Part D sets some targets for measuring the success of the suggested objectives.

6.5 The rest of this chapter is divided into three sections: the Vision, the Objectives and the Spatial Strategy.

6.6 With regard to the Objectives there is a clear inter-relationship between them and many of the policies in Chapter 8 of this document. This inter-relationship is explained where appropriate within Chapter 8.

THE VISION

(7) 6.7 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 INSERTED: 2031 DELETED: 2027 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 extended and improved shopping centre that includes 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, 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. INSERTED: Additional short stay parking will provide for car-borne shoppers and visitors.
  5. The distinctive network of INSERTED: beautiful DELETED: stunning parks INSERTED: and open spaces, green infrastructure and open water will be enhanced by the completion of the river path, INSERTED: improved ecological network and additional tree INSERTED: canopy cover DELETED: planting and landscaping in new developments INSERTED:, 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 INSERTED: continued DELETED: progressed through phase 3 of 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. INSERTED: During DELETED: In the latter part of 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 DELETED: with a journey time of a few minutes.
  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.

THE OBJECTIVES

(719) 6.8 The following twelve strategic objectives will guide the INSERTED: Local Plan DELETED: Framework:

  1. High standards of design will be required in new development. Development must be sustainable, environmentally friendly and resilient to the effects of climate change. Standards of acceptability will be raised progressively from 2006 (Building Regulations) levels for all developments in the town in terms of design and environmental performance.
  2. Every development should contribute to the aim of reducing Ipswich's carbon emissions below 2004 levels.
  3. At least: (a) INSERTED: 13,550 DELETED: 14,000 new dwelling units shall be provided in Ipswich between INSERTED: 2011 DELETED: 2001 and INSERTED: 2031 DELETED: 2021 (18,200 by 2027) in a manner that addresses identified local housing needs and provides a decent home for everyone, with DELETED: at least 60% of them being on previously developed land and at least 35% of them on larger sites being affordable homes; and (b) INSERTED: up to 12,500 DELETED: 18,000 additional jobs shall be provided INSERTED: in Ipswich to support growth in the Ipswich Policy Area between INSERTED: 2011 DELETED: 2001 and INSERTED: 2031 DELETED: 2025.
  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 (these areas are identified on the key diagram).
  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;
    • Ensuring a new strategic employment site is developed in the Ipswich area by 2021;
    • Extending the strategic greenspace INSERTED: , ecological network INSERTED: and canopy cover; and
    • Continuing to support the development of University Campus Suffolk and Suffolk New College.
  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; DELETED: and, (c) improve integration, accessibility and connectivity INSERTED: ; 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; DELETED: and
    • INSERTED: Comprehensive cycle routes should be provided; and
    • Ipswich Borough Council aspires to an enhanced public transport system, such as guided bus DELETED: , urban light railway or trams.
  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.
  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 protect the historic buildings and INSERTED: landscape character of Ipswich.
  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.
  10. To tackle deprivation and inequalities across the town.
  11. To create a safer INSERTED: , greener, DELETED: and more cohesive town.
  12. To work with other local authorities in the Ipswich Policy Area and with INSERTED: community DELETED: LSP partners to ensure a co-ordinated approach to planning and development.

6.9 Spatial Strategy - How will the vision and objectives be achieved?

6.10 The spatial approach to delivering sustainable growth in Ipswich is to pursue a strategy of urban renaissance in central Ipswich (Policy CS2). This DELETED: accords with the Regional Spatial Strategy, and at the same time helps to deliver the Community Strategy outcomes. It continues the approach set out in the 1997 Ipswich Local Plan that has seen a transformation of the Ipswich Waterfront, and the beginnings of change to a more vibrant mixed use area in the Ipswich Village. It offers the most sustainable way to accommodate growth in Ipswich, because:

  • it makes the best use of previously developed land;
  • it places new residents in close proximity to jobs, shops, leisure and cultural facilities and public transport nodes, to support sustainable lifestyles;
  • it regenerates some of the more run down areas that surround the historic core;
  • it enhances the vitality and vibrancy of the central area, reinforcing its role as a county town and regional centre; and
  • it addresses social needs by tackling issues of social and economic deprivation.

6.11 The strategy also reflects Ipswich's status as a regional priority area for regeneration, to help address issues of social and economic deprivation and in places a poor quality physical environment and social infrastructure.

(1) 6.12 Focusing development into central Ipswich will contribute to tackling issues of deprivation and improving social inclusion, for example through locating jobs and services where they will be most accessible. In pursuing the strategy, the Council will work with INSERTED: community partnerships DELETED: the one-ipswich partnership to ensure that the benefits of growth reach deprived neighbourhoods. There are already in existence examples of such joint working, through initiatives such as the Town and Bridge Project.

6.13 Much of the central area of Ipswich alongside the river is classified by the Environment Agency as Flood Risk Zones 2 and 3. National policy INSERTED: (National Planning Policy Framework) DELETED: Planning Policy Statement 25 Planning and Flood Risk) requires a sequential approach to the location of development such that Flood DELETED: Risk Zones 2 and 3 are avoided if there are viable alternatives. In exceptional circumstances 'more vulnerable' development, such as housing or education development in Flood Zones INSERTED: 2 and 3 may be possible if INSERTED: ‘within the site, the most vulnerable development is located in areas of lowest flood risk unless there are overriding reasons to prefer a different location; and development is appropriately flood resilient and resistant, including safe access and escape routes where required, and that any residual risk can be safely managed, including by emergency planning; and it gives priority to the use of sustainable drainage systems’2 DELETED: it (a) provides wider sustainability benefits to the community that outweigh flood risk; (b) is on previously developed land; and (c) is safe without increasing flood risk elsewhere (the Exception Test).

6.14 Ipswich is constrained by its tightly drawn borough boundary. The Borough has already accommodated significant post-war growth such that there are few opportunities for further expansion at the periphery. DELETED: The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment for Ipswich (2009) indicates that all the sites that are potentially suitable for housing, available and achievable in Ipswich amount to some 9,000 dwellings. This is close to the overall number needed to meet growth requirements between April 2010 and April 2027 (approximately 8,300 dwellings). Thus, as well as the need for urban regeneration in central Ipswich, there is no realistic alternative to locating some development in Flood DELETED: Risk Zone 3.

6.15 There is in place an agreed Ipswich Flood Defence Management Strategy and work INSERTED: begun DELETE: has already started on its implementation. Work was carried out in December 2008 to replace and raise the height of the floodgates in the Wet Dock lock. There is reasonable certainty that the Strategy will be implemented in full (it has DEFRA agreement) and it is anticipated that this will be achieved by DELETED: 2014 INSERTED: 2018 (Policy CS18).

6.16 The flood defence strategy will reduce flood risk significantly. However the residual risks resulting from the possibility of overtopping, breach or failure of gates or walls need to be considered. All development needs to be safe and when ‘more vulnerable’ developments need to be sited in Flood Zone 3a, they should pass the sequential and exception tests described in INSERTED: the NPPF DELETED: PPS25. The Council’s Level 2 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) provides guidance on residual flood risk both for the situation with existing defences at 2011 and also for the future situation, with the proposed flood barrier implemented. The SFRA also suggests a framework for safe development relevant to either case. The proposed safety framework will be detailed in a future SPD and includes requirements for:

  • Structural safety of buildings;
  • Emergency plans for actions by emergency responders;
  • Emergency plans for evacuation and flood warning arrangements for users of buildings;
  • Temporary refuges;
  • Safe emergency access for Fire & Rescue Service;
  • Safe access/escape routes for building users;
  • Raised floor levels; and
  • Flood resilience measures.

(3) 6.17 Thus, a significant number of Ipswich’s new homes will be provided within central Ipswich through sites that will be identified in the INSERTED: Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan INSERTED: ) development plan document in due course. As a secondary source of sites, land in the remainder of the urban area will also be identified, where possible located so as to provide ready accessibility for residents to existing local or district centres. DELETED: In the latter part of the plan period, we will start to deliver INSERTED: Delivery of a sustainable urban extension on greenfield land at the Northern Fringe of Ipswich INSERTED: will also occur during the plan period (see Policy CS10).

(1) 6.18 Ipswich is DELETED: identified in the Regional Spatial Strategy as a Key Centre for Development and Change and a regional town centre. Through the Local INSERTED: Plan DELETED: Development Framework, the Council will:

  • Extend the Central Shopping Area boundary to provide for improved retail offer (sites for new retail development will be identified in the INSERTED: Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) INSERTED: development plan document;
  • Extend the town centre boundary and identify within it employment areas and sites for offices, hotels, and commercial leisure uses (again, sites will be identified in the INSERTED: Site Allocations and Policies incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) INSERTED: development plan document;
  • Support the completion of the University Campus Suffolk and Suffolk New College, e.g. by protecting the Education Quarter land and buildings for linked uses; and
  • Support cultural facilities in the centre e.g. the completion of the Dance House for Dance East at the Waterfront.

(2) 6.19 Ipswich is a key economic driver in the INSERTED: wider DELETED: Haven Gateway sub-region. Whilst the town centre is the hub of office-based activity, retail and leisure activity, and offers the opportunity for clusters to develop around the University Campus, land is needed across the Borough to enable the provision of a range of new jobs across employment growth sectors. The Core Strategy identifies a Strategic Employment Site close to the A14 in south-eastern Ipswich and sets out an approach to protecting employment sites and employment areas across the town to meet a variety of needs (whilst employment land allocations themselves will be made through the site-specific development plan INSERTED: document DELETED: documents) (Policy CS13).

6.20 The Core Strategy will also provide an opportunity to attract national and regional voluntary sector organisations to form a base in Ipswich, and promote the growth of social enterprise incubator units and voluntary sector activity.

6.21 Although the town centre is the focus for regeneration, many of the town's existing residents live in the suburbs. The town centre improvements will benefit those who use the centre, and efforts to encourage modal shift and to implement the Ipswich Major Scheme INSERTED: known as ‘Travel Ipswich’ will support accessibility around the Borough by public transport, cycling and walking. In suburban neighbourhoods benefits from growth could include additional jobs provided in the established employment areas, the provision of additional community facilities and urban greening.


2 INSERTED: National Planning Policy Framework (2012), paragraph 103, p. 24
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