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Representation 11450 on BMSDC Joint Local Plan Consultation Document (Interactive) by Greenways Countryside Project Partnership (Mr. James Baker)

Support / Object: COMMENT
Document Link: BMSDC Joint Local Plan Consultation Document (Interactive) - Sproughton , SS0721 - Former Sugar Beet Factory Site, Sproughton Road
Representation: the former sugar factory site clearly has development potential, but should include significant areas of green space including the 'island nature reserve' (between the 2 courses of the river); a wide riverside corridor maintaining the rural footpath feel; a new multi-use cycle/wheel-friendly route through any new development (for leisure, but also importantly as a means of green travel to the site for workers) linking back to the river path at each end of the site; a substantial area of semi-natural green space north of the river at the western end, and facilities to allow visitors to enjoy the site and launch canoes in the river.

Original submission

Good morning,

The following comments on the consultation document are on behalf of the Greenways Countryside Project Partnership. The partnership (which includes Babergh District Council) was set up in 1994 and has an independent voice on planning matters. The Project seeks to protect and enhance the value of open space and countryside, in and around Ipswich, for the benefit of wildlife and local people.

Q51 - Strong support for option BIO2. In order to attempt to meet national biodiversity targets and the aim of no net loss of diversity as a result of built development, enhancement of habitats and ecological networks will be vital. Protection of sites is the necessary first stage, but on its own is unlikely to achieve sustainable results.

Q64 - In the parishes around the edge of Ipswich, green infrastructure is vital to maintaining wildlife habitat and a high quality of life for residents. The Ipswich Local Plan has a 'green rim' principle, effectively seeking to create a strong green buffer for wildlife and public recreational use, around the edge of the town. This concept also serves to maintain a strategic gap between Ipswich and surrounding settlements, which seems to be strongly supported by local people. Mirroring this concept in Babergh and Mid-Suffolk would be very effective and show a true joined-up approach, with tangible benefits to ecological networks, wildlife habitats and species, local health and wellbeing and the wider landscape.

Q65 - Green infrastructure provision is vitally important to be delivered alongside any growth in population. This new infrastructure needs to be significant in size, well managed (preferably in public ownership to guarantee this), include valuable habitats and/or create or improve habitats to maximise biodiversity, and link with other semi-natural space, strengthening the ecological network. The most obvious examples around the edge of Ipswich would include space at the former sugar factory site in Sproughton; a strategic extension to Chantry Park, linking to the River Gipping corridor (and potentially to the ex-sugar factory site); and protection, enlargement and enhancement of the existing Belstead Brook Park in Pinewood. In previous iterations of the Babergh Local Plan, a country park style strategic open space was allocated in Wherstead between the A14, A137 and the estuary. A strategic open space in this area should still be an important ambition as it could help to focus recreational pressure away from the European Protected estuaries, whilst offering a high quality experience close to many homes and excellent direct access from the A14, intercepting potential journeys to coastal and more vulnerable destinations.

Q66 - Strategic green infrastructure is required to support the expected growth in the wider Ipswich housing area. As well as identifying potential spaces for this, contributions will be required from all developments to facilitate the delivery of anything meaningful. (see comments for Q64 and Q65)

Q78 -
SS0658 - Pinewood - not suitable for development due to inclusion within Belstead Brook Park strategic open space. Also this site has environmental importance due to being in the flood plain, along with intrinsic wildlife value.

SS1024 - Sproughton - site forms part of the 'green rim' around Ipswich and the strategic separation between Ipswich and Sproughton. Any development on the site would need to bring substantial green infrastructure benefits either on its own or in combination with adjacent areas.

SS1023 - Sproughton - site forms part of 'green rim' and strategic separation between Ipswich and Sproughton. Also has significant landscape and wildlife value and potential. Any development in this area would need substantial green infrastructure provision to mitigate for loss of and damage to landscape and wildlife value. Part of a sizable extension to Chantry Park should be allocated and required to be delivered, which links down to the River Gipping through this area. This new strategic green space would meet local needs as well as helping to draw visits away from protected sites (estuaries etc), and would provide a large site close to many homes, to meet the needs of people and wildlife.

SS0721 - Sproughton - the former sugar factory site clearly has development potential, but should include significant areas of green space including the 'island nature reserve' (between the 2 courses of the river); a wide riverside corridor maintaining the rural footpath feel; a new multi-use cycle/wheel-friendly route through any new development (for leisure, but also importantly as a means of green travel to the site for workers) linking back to the river path at each end of the site; a substantial area of semi-natural green space north of the river at the western end, and facilities to allow visitors to enjoy the site and launch canoes in the river.

SS0191 - Sproughton - as for SS1023, if any development is thought suitable here, substantial new semi-natural open space should be required to extend Chantry Park and link towards the River Gipping corridor. The small valley feature crossing the area from south to north should be retained within a wider context due to the landscape and wildlife value it adds.

SS0775 - Sproughton - this field is not suited to much built development due to the proximity to the river and the risk of flooding. The site is an important part of the river corridor, both for wildlife and public use, and as such is best suited to being used as an extension to the Millennium Green for local community use, which could include access to the water for canoe launching etc. Built facilities for promoting access to the river corridor and to the river itself should be considered, potentially in the form of a base for the Ipswich Canoe Club, to facilitate the provision of leisure and sporting opportunities for local people. This use would also contribute to reducing recreational pressure on the protected estuaries.

SS1026 - Sproughton - any development of this area should include substantial new semi-natural open space to provide recreational opportunities and strengthen the ecological network (potentially located alongside the A14 corridor), and Ipswich 'green rim'.

SS0299 - Sproughton - as with SS1026 - - any development of this area should include substantial new semi-natural open space to provide recreational opportunities and strengthen the ecological network (potentially located alongside the A14 corridor), and Ipswich 'green rim'.

SS1027 - Wherstead - this site includes a former walled garden, which could be used for community benefit. There is also wildlife value to be considered along with the role of this site in strengthening the strategic separation between Wherstead and Ipswich.

SS0193 - Wherstead - this site includes a former walled garden, which could be used for community benefit. There is also wildlife value to be considered along with the role of this site in strengthening the strategic separation between Wherstead and Ipswich.

SS1020 - Wherstead - the 'Klondyke' field has long been mooted as a housing site, and one of two that could have delivered the Wherstead Country Park in previous Local Plans. Some development may be possible, but substantial open space should be required, preferably in the form of the adjacent Camp Yard Wood and associated areas. A priority is to not increase recreational pressure on the Orwell Estuary, but care needs to be taken to not simply divert this pressure onto this small area of valuable woodland habitat. Improvements to the links to Belstead Brook Park should also be required to spread the pressure.

SS0033 - Whitton - support the decision that this site is not suitable for development at this stage. The site helps to create separation between Ipswich and Claydon, and forms part of the 'green rim' around Ipswich. Substantial new semi-natural open space should be required if any development is proposed in the future.




If you would like to discuss any of these issues/sites in more detail at any stage, I am very happy to do so.

Many thanks

James


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