The first Borough-wide Ipswich Local Plan was adopted in May 1997 and covers
the period until 2006. In line with Government guidance, a review of that
Plan commenced in 1999 and the First Deposit Draft Local Plan was published
for public consultation in November 2001. But a Bill, currently going
through Parliament, has brought this system to a standstill.
The most sweeping update of planning legislation for forty years proposes a
fundamental change to the way in which the system operates, particularly the
policy framework. When the Act comes into force (Spring 2004?) Local Plans
and County Structure Plans will be abolished and replaced with Local
Development Documents (LDDs). Despite being some distance into the existing
Local Plan process, and having received and analysed thousands of comments,
Ipswich Borough Council have decided to be innovative and to be one of the
first to produce a Local Development Document.
The First Draft Local Plan was in its way innovative, using an interactive
CD to spread the message to the business community. This proved very
successful with two local maps, each with pictures of nearly all the
featured planning sites, video clips and the whole of the 250-page report.
The Borough received almost 3000 representations. Each was read, analysed
and categorised. 60% were on three main issues - Hayhill Housing, Northern
Fringe Housing and Access to the Port. As a result at an IBC Executive
meeting in September 2002 it was agreed that the East and West Bank Link
Roads should be deleted from the Second Draft, but that the housing
proposals remain in the Plan. It is interesting to speculate what will
happen to these issues now the Local Plan process has been dropped.
The IBC Executive meeting on 4 March 2003 agreed to the new system, but
until LDDs are produced and adopted, the 1997 Local Plan and the First
Deposit Draft (2001) remain the Council's statement of planning policy.
JOHN NORMAN Vice-Chairman